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Virginia Life

The Virginia Living Museum is home to more than 250 species of animals and plants found throughout Virginia including reptiles, mammals, birds and fish. With its rivers and waterfalls, mountains and sandy coast, Virginia has an array of wildlife ranging from the extremely rare red wolf to jellyfish. The Chesapeake Bay is the world’s richest marine-life estuary. Experience the Bay’s diversity year round at the VLM. Plus explore the underwater worlds of a steamy cypress swamp and a cool mountain stream. Most of the mammals and birds on exhibit could not survive in the wild because they were either injured, orphaned or born in captivity.

Virginia’s Plants

Experience the largest collection of native plants in Virginia here at the Virginia Living Museum. Exhibits representing the coastal, piedmont and mountain regions of the state are planted with species appropriate to those regions. Offering beauty in both form and color, native plants are also beneficial for wildlife. Visit the Museum to see an extensive array of Virginia’s spectacular native vegetation in gardens, landscape and exhibit plantings.

Learn more about Virginia’s plants on our Plants page.

Virginia’s Amphibians

You can see both aquatic and terrestrial frogs and salamanders at the Virginia Living Museum, including the largest salamander, the eastern hellbender, and the wood frog, which is known for its ability to tolerate freezing.

Learn more about Virginia’s amphibians on our Animals page.

Virginia’s Aquatic Life

The Virginia Living Museum is home to more than 100 species of fish and aquatic invertebrates. The Museum exhibits several endangered and threatened species including the shortnose sturgeon (federal endangered), blackbanded sunfish (state endangered) and the loggerhead sea turtle (federal threatened).

Learn more about Virginia’s aquatic life on our Animals page.

Virginia’s Mammals

Beavers, otters, foxes, coyotes, raccoons and bobcats are all animals that live around us, but are seldom seen. Visitors can see them on the Museum’s outdoor trail, along with deer and red wolves, the most endangered mammal in North America. Six pups were born at the Museum on April 26, 2007. One of the young wolves remains on exhibit along with their father.

Learn more about Virginia’s mammals on our Animals page.

Virginia’s Birds

Songbirds, owls, coastal birds, turkeys and raptors all make their home at the Virginia Living Museum, along with our national bird, the bald eagle.

Learn more about Virginia’s birds on our Animals page.

Virginia’s Reptiles

The Virginia Living Museum exhibits all three venomous snakes found in Virginia (copperhead, cottonmouth and timber rattlesnake), along with other snakes, turtles and lizards. Threatened species on exhibit include the American alligator (federal), and wood turtle (state).

Learn more about Virginia’s reptiles on our Animals page.