The Chesapeake is home to more than 3,000 species of plants and animals, including 348 species of finfish, 173 species of shellfish, and roughly 30 species of waterfowl. Discover some of the rich, extraordinary wildlife that make this place so special.
Some of the most iconic Bay species—and perhaps the most important to the region's recreation, economy, and way of life—include the blue crab, Eastern oyster, striped bass (also known as rockfish or striper), and Atlantic menhaden.
Discover more of the diverse and extraordinary wildlife that make this a place so special by browsing through our blog posts below, listening to our seasonal naturalist podcast, Chesapeake Almanac, or checking in on our Osprey Cam from late spring through early fall.
May 16, 2022
The largest salamanders in North America were plentiful in the Bay watershed decades ago. Today, with their populations teetering and habitat facing multiple threats, the Eastern hellbender is still as charismatic and ugly a critter as ever.
April 7, 2022
These toothy, big-tailed creatures are some of the Chesapeake’s best Bay savers.
March 9, 2022
CBF's Brian Gish has a plan to restore habitat for brook trout in Pennsylvania.
March 2, 2022
Resurgence of Atlantic sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay is reason to continue pollution-reduction efforts.
January 26, 2022
A Pennsylvania farm owner steps up to protect bog turtles on his land.
January 12, 2022
Lined seahorses rely on the Bay's underwater grass beds for food, shelter, and a place to breed.
January 6, 2022
Known for their acrobatics, humpback whales sometimes venture into the Chesapeake to feed.
September 22, 2021
The tropical Wood Stork is rarely seen in Maryland, but could have been blown north by Hurricane Ida.
September 20, 2021
While we love to see them, otter sightings can be rare depending on your location in the watershed. But when you do see them, here are five interesting facts you should know about the North American river otter.
August 17, 2021
Admit it—it wouldn’t be a Chesapeake summer without sea nettles. From where to watch for nettles to treating their irritating stings, here are four things to know about jellyfish.
August 16, 2021
Carolina Slabshells, Tidewater Muckets, Green Floaters—an amazing diversity of freshwater mussels call the rivers and streams of the Bay watershed home. But we’re losing species faster than we can understand them.
July 14, 2021
We’ve all heard about sharks in the Bay, but did you know that these apex predators have actually been living here long before us humans ever showed up?
July 2, 2021
Endangered Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are finding unexpected refuge in urban neighborhoods.
August 11, 2020
Swimming and boating are two of the best activities to beat the summer heat, but could sharks be lurking just below the surface?
August 5, 2020
Oysters are one of the watershed's favorite bivalves. But how are they doing?
August 3, 2020
Blue crabs are known far and wide as a symbol of the Chesapeake Bay region. But how are they doing?
August 14, 2018
A shark catch in southern Maryland waters has launched a flurry of questions across the region. CBF's Doug Myers tells us what we need to know.