Welcome to Animals in Louisiana.
When traveling through the United States of America, you may come to wonder what different animals are commonly found in the different 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’re going to zoom in on Louisiana, and more specifically the Animals in Louisiana.
Louisiana is one of the US Southern States, which is found in the Gulf of Mexico between Texas and Alabama. Louisiana is also very well known for being the home of Jazz, more 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 you’re 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, coupled with a subtropical climate, make it a perfect dwelling for many creatures of the wild.
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.
The animals in Louisiana, thus, comprise mainly species fond of living in aquatic conditions as well as 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 a myriad of distinctive wild creatures.
For instance, northern Louisiana consists of lush forests that accommodate a number of 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, the wetlands of Louisiana are home to a number of 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, precisely forty, consider Louisiana their home. Out of these, some of the species are exceptionally rare, while others are common creatures of the wild.
So, keep reading to grasp more detailed information regarding some of these species.
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 boring as they may appear to you, the black bears are actually interesting animals of 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.
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 have shades of brown in their coat too). Quite fascinatingly, some species of these squirrels have black hair due to a faulty pigment gene present in their lineage.
The eastern fox squirrels are the largest of the tree squirrels found in Louisiana that come in a variety of fur colors depending on the area they live in. For instance, some of these hairy critters come in solid brown and black fur, while others have dark brown or black patterned coat.
These hairy critters are known for their love for nuts and bird seeds. In fact, 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 a lot of them in your neighborhood if you’re native to Louisiana!
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 the 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 smaller 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 rate of reproduction.
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 that distinguishes them from other rodents.
The population of nutria has troubled human beings for a very long time. 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 put a halt to their growing population and harvest the already living species for human consumption.
The Virginia deer is considered a unique fauna out of 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 very unique and distinctive in their appearance and behavior.
Let’s prospect more about them!
Growing up, we have all been 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 of the crocodilian reptiles found in the subtropical wetlands of Louisiana. Its gigantic body makes it the largest one in the alligator family.
Interesting fact: The largest 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 extremely rare 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 colour.
The wetlands in Louisiana are home to a number of 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 was 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 redcorn 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 largest 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 turtle are the rarest species of turtles that are 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 do regard lizards as disgusting creatures of the wild, the beautiful hues and intricate patterns of lizards in Louisiana gather nothing but praises 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.
If you’re keen to learn more about the lizards in Louisiana, click here.
The freshwater bodies like ponds, rivers, and marshes carry an abundant population of frogs and toads native to Louisiana.
Out 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 toad, and southern toad.
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 of these species make them unique and outstanding.
So, buckle up to learn some exciting facts regarding these distinguishing animals in Louisiana.
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.
The Great Egret And Blue Heron
The majority 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 to exist in the state. Their massive wingspan and bodies categorize them among the tallest birds in America.
The American timberdoodle is another species of shorebirds that mostly dwell in dense and moist coppices and swampy regions of Louisiana.
Their coat color varies from dark brown to shades of black, which provide excellent camouflage in the woodlands.
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 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 being held for the conservation of endangered species in order to maintain a constant balance of nature and provide a safe haven to these creatures for their growth and survival.
If you enjoyed this blog you will probably enjoy learning about the wildlife found in other States of the USA like