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What Lives in the Swamp: The Wildlife of Louisiana


Swamplands are one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. Collecting excess rainwater and runoff from higher altitudes, swamps provide many native species with a fertile environment to thrive. Though located around large bodies of water, such as lakes or seas, these habitats are home to a series of animals that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. On your next trip to southern Louisiana, be sure to keep an eye out for what lives in the swamp.

Amphibians and Reptiles

The most abundant category of wildlife in the Louisiana swamplands, these animals rarely show up in other parts of the country. The American Alligator—a freshwater swamp’s star attraction—only reside in these habitats, as it was these fertile lands that helped them bounce back from near extinction. This ecosystem also includes a variety of snakes, snapping turtles, lizards, and salamanders for you to spot.


Swamps are also known for their abundance of birdlife and waterfowl. Among some of the most common species are the great blue heron and great egret that use the waters as their prime hunting territory. Additionally, these swamps house raptors that scour the land for their next meal as well as the waters. Some of these species include the osprey, black vulture, and barred owl.


Even though most of the swamplands are water, they still have their fair share of land-dwelling animals such as coyotes, muskrats, and red foxes. Some larger, unexpected mammals also emerge in these territories due to their ability to adapt to different environments. This includes the black bear, bobcat, and eastern cougar.


From bass to white perch, the fish life in the swamplands is the foundation of the entire ecosystem. The steady population of fish can feed everything from the local birds to mammals and other fish. Even aquatic predators such as the catfish and alligator gar can thrive in the fresh or brackish waters, making for an exciting fishing excursion.

If you’re looking to see some of these awe-inspiring animals in their natural habitat, Wild Louisiana Tours can help you accomplish this. Our series of kayak swamp tours in New Orleans allows you to experience the swamp from a new perspective and float among the wildlife that calls it home.