What is Watchable Wildlife?
Watchable Wildlife enhances, elevates and promotes wildlife viewing and nature appreciation for the benefit of society, while building community awareness, understanding and support for the conservation of the wildlife and habitats upon which these activities depend.
Respect Virginia's Wildlife
The first key to wildlife watching is understanding how to do it responsibly. Respect Virginia's Wildlife explains the best ways to get the most out of your wildlife viewing trips. When wildlife watching always keep in mind, you are the visitor!
History and Overview
Virginia's Watchable Wildlife Program began in 2001. While the most notable accomplishment in the first years has been the development of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, many other areas have and are being addressed by Department staff. The major program areas are:
- Providing Technical Assistance to both public and private land stewards to improve their land for wildlife viewing
- Addressing urban wildlife issues through workshops, publications, and web-based information
- Sponsoring and/or attending wildlife-related events
- Coordinating the Department's WildlifeMapping Program
- Coordinating DGIF sponsorship of Virginia's Master Naturalist Program
The Department's Mission
- To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth;
- To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia;
- To promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing;
- To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities.
Projects such as the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail provide Virginians with opportunities to view wildlife across the Commonwealth. Promoting and fostering education about wildlife and getting people out to see it are key to getting people involved in wildlife conservation. Finally, the more people know about wildlife and wildlife-human interactions, the safer everyone will be, which benefits both people and wildlife.
The Department's Watchable Wildlife Program is just one of many such programs in state fish and wildlife agencies across the United States. For more information on other Watchable Wildlife programs, click on Other Links.