Loudoun County Wildlife
Plants and animals play an important role in nature’s lifecycle and its ecosystems. For wildlife habitats, large, contiguous parcels of natural open space are preferable to more numerous, smaller, disconnected areas.
While many high-quality plant and animal habitats have already been lost or altered due to land development, the county still has a number of unique and natural habitat areas. The largest contiguous areas of forest and naturally vegetated land are on mountainsides and along stream corridors. These areas play a key role in preserving the abundance and diversity of the county’s remaining plants and wildlife. They are also a part of the Blue Ridge ecosystem, a 550-mile, contiguous natural area of parks, national forests, Federal wilderness, and the Appalachian Trail that extends from Georgia to Pennsylvania.
An integrated "green infrastructure" approach helps to prevent habitat fragmentation, while enhancing ecological connections with larger natural areas. The county strives to protect, preserve, and create large-scale plant and wildlife habitats that overlap with other important resources within the county’s green infrastructure.
The county protects habitats for rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal species in accordance with the Federal Endangered Species Act.
The health and survivability of plants and animals can often foretell future environmental threats to human life and health. Therefore, the county encourages the study of the biological processes within the natural resource elements of the green infrastructure.