Before the European invasion, the forests, swamps, parries and marshes of Louisiana supported an abundance of wildlife. The red wolf, bison, Louisiana black bear, cougar, jaguar and Florida panther once roamed freely. But now, of these, only the black bear remains.
However, mammals that can still be seen include bobcat, armadillo, muskrat, American beaver, skunk, eastern fox squirrel, southern flying squirrel, eastern chipmunk, striped and spotted skunk, northern river otter, long-tailed weasel, opossum and both the cottontail and swamp rabbit.
There are numerous species of mice and rats and the white tailed deer is not an uncommon sight.
The invasion of nutria from South America has caused a major loss of vegetation along the coastal wetlands. A control program was initiated in 1998 and has been relatively successful in reducing the destruction.
The nutria feed on the vegetation, stripping entire areas, which are unable to grow back before the tidal waters move in. The root systems die and the soils is washed away adding to the sinking coastline.
Both gray and red fox and coyote are among the remaining carnivores, along with the bobcat.
Spanish moss offers a favorite roosting place with at least two of the many species of bats to be found.
Native tribes in the region made good use of rabbit fur and deer skin for clothing.