The park provides a needed refuge for wildlife populations in the area. The park covers two physiographic provinces and lies in a transition zone between northern and southern climates, resulting in diverse habitats that can support healthy breeding populations of numerous animal species. Inventory data lists at least 46 species of mammals, 22 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 129 species of birds, 26 species of fish, and an unknown number of invertebrates. Several studies have uncovered a few Virginia state rare or threatened species as well as species of special concern. Threats to wildlife in the park include poaching, development, and direct habitat loss and alteration.

a tadpole

NPS Photo

Simply put - amphibians are born in water and grow to breathe air. Frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts fall into this class of animals. In Greek, Amphibios means both kinds of life - amphi, meaning both, and bios, meaning life. Today, Amphibians are known as 'ecological indicators' or the 'canary in the coal mine' of the animal kingdom. Their decline in population over recent years is a bellweather for the stress on our environment.

Red headed woodpecker with a black and white body clings to the side of a tree trunk
Red headed woodpecker

NPS Photo/Paula Sullivan

Prince William Forest Park was designated an Audubon Important Birding Area in 2009 and is known as one of the best birding habitats in northern Virgnia. Learn more about the flights of fancy that you can find here!

Brown haired beaver perched on its hind legs in a shaded grassy area
American beaver

NPS Photo

Our closest cousins in the animal kingdom. They have hair, three inner-ear bones, are born live (not in eggs), and nurse from their mothers. From the smallest bat to the great blue whale, mammals are amazing. Check out those mammals that you might find on your next hike here in Prince Wiliam Forest Park.

Coiled brown patterned copperhead snake
Copperhead snake

NPS Photo/Melissa Weih

They slink, they slither, and invoke love in some, and fear in most. Reptiles include snakes, turtles, crocodiles, alligators, and lizards. They are covered in scales, bear young in eggs (except some vipers which give live birth), and breathe air.

Water insects skating on the surface of a pool
Water skimmers

NPS Photo

They may have no backbone, but invertebrates ARE the backbone of the natural world! Birds, snakes, amphibians and other animal species feed on invertebrates. They also pollinate our flowers and food plants and wow us with the beautiful color displays of moths, butterflies, and dragonflies.

Last updated: December 24, 2023

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18100 Park Headquarters Road
Triangle, VA 22172



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