Celebrating Appalachia’s magnificent biodiversity.
Wildflowers are one of Appalachia’s most vibrant symbols of summer. As the season’s end nears, we explore a few beautiful, unique flowers that blossom in late summer along mountain trails, forests and riverbeds.
Beavers are sometimes called “nature’s engineers,” and for good reason. By building lodges and dams as their homes, they physically alter the landscape to suit their own needs, similar to humans.
A resurgence in mapling has opened a booming market for Appalachian syrup.
The wild ponies of Grayson Highlands State Park and Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in Southwest Virginia attract hikers of all ages — but take heed, don't feed the ponies!
The American kestrel is North America’s smallest falcon. This bird, whose population is declining, adapts well to nest boxes installed by conservationists.
The non-venomous northern water snake is frequently spotted at swimming holes and rivers in Appalachia — and sometimes mistaken for its venomous cousin, the copperhead.
The mushrooms of Appalachia offer diverse tastes and medicinal benefits for the wild forager. But be careful, since many edible mushrooms have poisonous look-alikes.
Characterized by a long bill, short and stout stature, extravagant mating display and a nickname like timberdoodle, the American Woodcock would seem to be a bird that stands out. But that is not the case.
The Eastern cougar was declared extinct in 2011 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But that doesn't keep other species of mountain lions from passing through the region, leaving behind blurry pictures and occasional eerie screams in the forest.
The bright red berries of the sumac plant add color to the winter landscape. While poison sumac has earned a bad reputation, other varieties of the plant have a long and multicultural history of use, including as a spice and as a dye or tanning agent.
Coyote populations in the Appalachian region are growing, and increasingly they are adapting to urban settings. As a result, interactions with humans are becoming more common.
There are more than 300 different species of crayfish in the southeastern United States, and two West Virginia species of these adaptable freshwater crustaceans may be declared federally endangered.
Scientists engaged in the years-long battle against the devastating white-nose syndrome have found bright spots in the fight to protect bats from the disease.
Wood thrushes — and their appetite for bright-red ginseng berries — are helping the plant spread its range further north.
When European colonists arrived in the 1400s, Eastern elk were the most widespread hooved animal on the continent, but the subspecies was declared extinct by 1880. Today, however, another type of elk are slowly returning to Appalachia.