Table of Contents
Welcome to the Swamp!
Amphibians and Reptiles in Louisiana
Every visitor to Southern Louisiana wants to see an alligator. There are well over one million American alligators living in Louisiana, and it isn’t as difficult (or dangerous) to spot one as some visitors might suspect. Fully grown female alligators, which can grow over 8 feet in length, are drawn to Louisiana’s thickly vegetated coastal marshes for breeding and nurturing their newborns. Encountering mature mothers and young hatchlings in the wild is not difficult, especially given that these majestic, cold-blooded reptiles enjoy spending time in direct sunlight so they can regulate their body temperature.
While alligators are every bit the predator one imagines when it comes to dominating the local food chain, they are highly averse to contact or conflict with humans and pose no threat to respectful visitors.
Turtles & Tortoises
Turtles and tortoises are a peaceful mainstay of Louisiana wetlands. These shelled creatures can frequently be spotted swimming across the murky bayou waters or sunning themselves on logs. The gopher tortoise is especially venerated in this region, as it is an endangered species that calls the area north of Lake Pontchartrain its home.
Thanks to the large burrows it is capable of digging, the gopher tortoise is considered a keystone species in its environment. It isn’t only the gopher tortoises themselves that benefit from these burrow dwellings, but also an entire ecosystem — around 300 other species rely on these burrows for shelter!
Frogs & Toads
Louisiana swamps are home to a sweeping variety of smaller reptiles and amphibians. Rich with exciting wildlife, the swamps are bursting with amphibious creatures like frogs and toads. Here you can hear the croaks of these hopping critters — which is music to any nature-lover’s ears! You might even spot the pint-sized Southern cricket frog. It’s only about the size of a quarter, but its energetic jumping and robust calls can easily be heard among the marshlands.
Pelicans are an eternal symbol of Louisiana wildlife and culture. They even appear on the state flag! Brown pelicans spend their days both on open coastal waters and in the swamp, where they can be seen perched on local cypress trees or gliding through clearings in search of their fishy prey.
Herons & Egrets
Louisiana Insects and Spiders
Those who are willing to look closely at Louisiana’s spiders will be awed by the intricate patterns that adorn local mainstays such as the banana spider and the black and yellow garden spider. Meanwhile, spider webs help create a magical atmosphere as they reflect the sunlight that peeks through the swamp’s dense canopy.
Schedule a New Orleans Swamp Tour & See for Yourself
Readers who wish to get up close to these colorful creatures in their natural habitat can contact Cajun Encounters to schedule a safe, fun, and educational New Orleans swamp tour. Our professional tour guides take our guests deep into the Honey Island Swamp, just northeast of New Orleans, on a flat-bottomed boat that seats up to 22 passengers. We offer pickup services to visitors staying in New Orleans. Book now for an unforgettable excursion through the Bayou!