Partnership Creates Opportunity to Save Threatened Species

Photo: Mike Pinder

The New River Land Trust has joined forces with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and The Conservation Fund to protect an important property in the New River region. The property has been home to a family farm for generations, but it’s also home to three endangered or threatened species: the Bog Turtle, federally listed as threatened; a butterfly, Mitchell’s Satyr, federally and state listed as endangered; and the Appalachian snaketail dragonfly, which is listed as significantly rare in Virginia.

These species are threatened due to the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of habitat from wetland alteration, development, pollution and invasive species. The bog turtle is also threatened by the illegal wildlife trade.

When the property went up for sale, NRLT moved quickly to work with the owners, secure financing from The Conservation Fund and is preparing to purchase the property. In the short term, the Land Trust’s ownership will ensure the land and the special species that live there are protected. The long term plan is that DCR will acquire the property and it will become a Natural Area Preserve managed for the benefit of its rare species.

Conservation is very much a collaborative effort in Virginia and this project is a great example of how the New River Land Trust works with private owners and its many conservation partners to protect the New River region’s natural resources.