Welcome to Animals and Wildlife in Louisiana.
When traveling through the United States of America, you may wonder what different animals and wildlife are commonly found in the other states. From the Wild Brown Bears in Alaska to the Alligators found in Florida, there is a very diverse range of Animals found all over the North American Continent.
In this blog, we’ll zoom in on Louisiana, precisely the Animals and Wildlife in Louisiana.
Louisiana is one of the US Southern States found in the Gulf of Mexico between Texas and Alabama. Louisiana is also well known for being the home of Jazz, specifically, the famous city of New Orleans (the Jazz ‘Birthplace’), and also for the swamp-like environment…
So if you’re visiting New Orleans or the broader Louisiana and are interested in what wildlife and animals you may stumble upon, look no further! We’ve got plenty of info in this blog for you to enjoy.
The Environmental Conditions Of Louisiana
Out of most of the states in the US, Louisiana is known to have the highest proportion of wetlands at present. Its swampy and marshy environment and subtropical climate make it a perfect dwelling for many wild creatures.
In a precise manner, the swamps, bayous (lake or river outlets), woodlands, creeks, coastal marshes, and barrier islands account for forty percent of the total land of Louisiana.
On top of that, it is the only state to cover around fifty percent of the total wetlands present in the United States at the current date. Sounds fascinating, right?
In addition, Louisiana is known to be the perfect example of a state with a humid and subtropical climate. Throughout the year, the country undergoes long spells of hot and moist summers with recurrent showers of rain and shorter periods of moderate winters.
Thus, Louisiana’s animals comprise mainly species fond of living in aquatic conditions and on the land too.
Animals In Louisiana – A Brief Overview
It is somewhat justifiable to regard Louisiana as a state with the most peculiar species of animals currently. Regardless of the differences in the types of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, or birds, different landmarks in Louisiana are home to many distinctive wild creatures.
For instance, northern Louisiana consists of lush forests that accommodate several land-loving species, such as deer, rabbits, muskrats, bears, lynx, and skunks.
The pinewood forests comprise various species of mammals, including the American cougars, gray foxes, red wolves, feral pigs, and snakes such as the cottonmouth and the Louisiana pine snake.
In addition to that, Louisiana is native to several rare species of flora and fauna that are indigenous to this particular state only.
The unique species of animals include the Louisiana pine snake, the white leucistic alligator, the Louisiana black bear, the Louisiana pearl shell, and the red-cockaded woodpecker.
Furthermore, Louisiana’s wetlands are home to several water-loving species, such as alligators, turtles, catfish, crawfish, ducks, oysters, and much more. Additionally, the Nutra (an American rodent) is one of the invasive species found in the marshy areas of Louisiana.
Moreover, when categorized, the animals in Louisiana are mostly mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish. So, let’s get down to learning more about the fauna of Louisiana and what makes them adapted to the distinguishing landmarks of this particular state.
Mammals Of Louisiana
As mentioned earlier, several mammals consider Louisiana their home, precisely forty. Out of these, some of the species are exceptionally rare, while others are familiar creatures of the wild.
So, keep reading for more detailed information about some of these species.
#1 Louisiana Black Bear
This humongous bear species native to the woodlands of Louisiana bagged the position as an official state animal in 1992.
As its name implies, the Louisiana black bear is covered with black fur and has a short tail. It has a stubby appearance given off by a broad nose and small eyes.
This mammal species is generally categorized as a carnivore. Still, in a real sense, it can devour almost anything available to them, be it vegetation, fruits, or insects such as beetles.
As dull as they may appear, black bears are exciting animals in the wild. Their excellent swimming tactics and tree climbing make them a well-adapted species to the environment of Louisiana.
Their day-to-day activities include searching for food, shelter, and mates.
#2 Eastern Gray Squirrels And Eastern Fox Squirrels
It is an undeniable fact that the squirrels of Louisiana are adorable. The two main types of squirrels native to the state are the eastern gray squirrels and the eastern fox squirrels.
As their name implies, Eastern gray squirrels have gray fur (they can also have shades of brown in their coat). Quite fascinatingly, some species of these squirrels have black hair due to a faulty pigment gene in their lineage.
The eastern fox squirrels are the giant tree squirrels found in Louisiana that come in various fur colors depending on their area. For instance, some hairy critters come in solid brown and black fur, while others have dark brown or black patterned coats.
These hairy critters are known for their love for nuts and bird seeds. The natives of Louisiana are especially fed up with them invading their yards in search of bird feeders!
They typically reside in deciduous trees full of nuts. However, you may discover many of them in your neighborhood if you’re native to Louisiana!
#3 Eastern Cottontail And Swamp Rabbits
The two types of rabbits native to Louisiana are the eastern cottontail and swamp rabbits. The difference between the two species is only due to their areas of residence.
For instance, eastern cottontails can be found in shrubby areas with abundant grasslands, while swampy rabbits are known to dwell in the wetlands of Louisiana.
The outer fur of the eastern cottontail comprises a mixture of red, brown, and gray, while the inner coat is white. They have big brown eyes and large ears.
Compared to eastern cottontails, swampy rabbits have darker fur with relatively more little ears and a light brown colored ring around their eyes.
The red lynx (another name for a bobcat) is slightly larger than the usual cats and are present abundantly in Louisiana. They are mostly known to live in deep forests but can also survive near wetlands or rocky terrains.
The appearance of these creatures differs slightly from a typical cat. They come in various coat colors, ranging from light brown to dark grayish-brown, and the distinctive patterns of black fur aid this species in camouflage.
In addition, they have pointed black-tipped ears with round yellow eyes and a short bobbed tail.
Nutria is a semi-aquatic species belonging to the family of rodents and is regarded as an invasive species due to its troublesome nature and high reproduction rate.
These distressing critters live in trenches near water and consume a lot of vegetation, which is a significant matter of concern for humans. Moreover, they tend to transmit diseases by contaminating the water.
These devilish rodents can also be regarded as ‘giant rats’ with long hairless tails. They have a dark brownish-gray coat and a white snout, distinguishing them from other rodents.
The nutria population has troubled human beings for a very long time, and their excessive eating leads to the loss of vegetation in areas of their habitat. Moreover, they are keen to destroy the coastal marshes of Louisiana, leading to rampant erosion in the area.
Therefore, the Wildlife Department of Louisiana made several attempts to halt their growing population and harvest the already living species for human consumption.
#6 White-Tailed Deer
The Virginia deer is considered a unique fauna from the other animals in Louisiana due to its distinctive white color on the underside of its tail. When encountering danger, the whitetail deer extends its tail to the fullest to warn its hunters that they have been alarmed.
The unique species modifies the color of its coat according to climatic conditions. For instance, their fur is reddish-brown in a hotter climate and grayish-brown during colder periods.
The white-tailed deer are usually seen in the woodlands and savannas of Louisiana, where the surrounding conditions are hot and dry. They might also reside in habitats proximate to the wetlands of Louisiana.
Reptiles And Amphibians Of Louisiana
After exploring the lifestyle and behavior of some of the mammals found in Louisiana, getting to know the reptiles and amphibians of this state would be exciting, too, considering that many of the species found here are unique and distinctive in their appearance and behavior.
Let’s prospect more about them!
Growing up, we were all scared of alligators due to their unique and scary appearance. If you live near the wetlands in Louisiana, you need to be extra careful because these giant spooky critters may catch your sight any instant!
The American alligator is the most famous crocodilian reptile found in the subtropical wetlands of Louisiana. Its gigantic body makes it the largest one in the alligator family.
Interesting fact: The giant American alligator killed in Louisiana was reportedly nineteen meters long!
These attributes make the spooky reptile worthy of earning the title of the official state reptile of Louisiana.
In addition, the scarce species of white alligators are only found in Louisiana. The leucistic alligators appear white due to a faulty pigmentation gene that deprives them of their color.
The wetlands in Louisiana are home to several species of venomous and non-venomous snakes found in the United States.
The venomous species include the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, western pygmy rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, eastern copperhead and cottonmouth, and texas coral snake.
If you ever pass by a wetland, you might want to stay out of their way because these nasty critters do not hesitate to give you a fatal bite, even if your intention is not to kill them by any chance.
In addition, the non-venomous species of snakes native to Louisiana include the Louisiana pine snake, scarlet kingsnake, eastern yellowbelly racer, buttermilk racer, tan racer, rainbow snake, and a corn snake.
You may breathe a sigh of relief due to their non-venomous nature. But, these species are not to be taken lightly as their high power of constricting their victims may leave you out of breath and die a terrible death. Sounds scary, right?
The freshwater areas of Louisiana are well-known for their turtle habitations.
The alligator snapping turtle is reported as the most prominent American freshwater turtle currently residing in the freshwaters of Louisiana with its cousin, the common snapping turtle.
Moreover, the ringed map turtle and pearl river map turtles are the rarest turtles native to Louisiana and some parts of Mississippi only—another great one from the list of Animals In Louisiana.
Fun fact: The only species of tortoise dwelling in Louisiana is the Gopher Tortoise!
Even if we regard lizards as disgusting creatures of the wild, the beautiful hues and intricate patterns of lizards in Louisiana gather nothing but praise for nature.
The woodlands and savannas of Louisiana prove to be a perfect habitat for lizards such as green and brown anoles (similar to chameleons), slender glass lizards, prairie lizards, coal skinks, five-lined skinks, broad-headed skinks, and much more.
The freshwater bodies like ponds, rivers, and marshes carry an abundant population of frogs and toads native to Louisiana.
Of all these amphibians in Louisiana, the American green tree frog is regarded as the official state amphibian due to its profuse presence throughout the country.
The most common species of frogs and toads observed throughout the wetlands in the state are pig frogs, southern leopard frogs, crawfish frogs, dusky gopher frogs, western chorus frogs, hurter’s spadefoot toads, and southern toads.
Amongst these species, American bullfrogs are the largest ones belonging to Louisiana.
These poisonous creatures, similar to lizards, can be found copiously across the grasslands and wetlands of Louisiana.
The most common types of these amphibians native to Louisiana include Louisiana slimy salamander, eastern tiger salamander, gulf coast waterdog, webster’s salamander, and southern red-backed salamander.
Birds Of Louisiana
The birds native to Louisiana do nothing but compel us, humans, to hurl praises to nature on the grounds of their exceptionally distinct lifestyle, behavior, and means of survival.
While there may be hundreds of species of birds native to Louisiana, the appearance and characteristics of some make them unique and outstanding.
So, buckle up to learn some exciting facts regarding these distinguishing animals in Louisiana.
#1 Brown Pelican
The eastern brown pelican is the official state bird of Louisiana that also managed to embellish the flag of Louisiana.
These feathery critters are large seabirds that hunt food by diving into the water. Being strictly marine creatures, they prefer dwelling in coastal, swampy, and marshy freshwater regions.
#2 The Great Egret And Blue Heron
Most of the population of birds in Louisiana is made up of songbirds and shorebirds that feed on small mammals and fish around the coastal and marshy regions of the state.
Shorebirds like the great egrets and blue herons are the most common ones in the state. Their massive wingspan and bodies categorize them among the tallest birds in America.
#3 American Woodcock
The American timberdoodle is another species of shorebird that mostly dwell in dense and moist coppices and swampy regions of Louisiana.
Their coat color varies from dark brown to black shades, providing excellent camouflage in the woodlands.
#4 American Oystercatcher
The American oystercatcher was once named ‘sea pie’ due to their abundant presence in coastal areas of Louisiana, including the sandy beaches and salty marshes.
They readily feast on small marine animals, mostly invertebrates, with their staple food being oysters—the sea pie mainly nests on coasts, decorating it with shells available in their surroundings.
A Final Word on Animals and Wildlife In Louisiana
Animals are always fun to discover. They are a wonderful creation of nature that fascinates the world through their characteristic appearance and behavior.
That being so, human beings must strive to conserve these creatures of the wild rather than promoting urbanization that would result in a loss of their habitats.
Being responsible citizens of Louisiana, you must protect the wildlife surrounding you.
Also, actively participate in campaigns for the conservation of endangered species to maintain a constant balance of nature and provide a haven to these creatures for their growth and survival.
If you enjoyed this blog, you would probably enjoy learning about the wildlife found in other States of the USA like Animals in Washington, Animals in Michigan , Wildlife in South Dakota or Animals in Maryland.