Flora and fauna

Forests in Louisiana consist of four major types: shortleaf pine uplands, slash and longleaf pine flats and hills, hardwood forests in alluvial basins, and cypress and tupelo swamps. Important commercial trees also include beech, eastern red cedar, and black walnut. Among the state's wildflowers are the ground orchid and several hyacinths; two species (Louisiana quillwort and American chaffseed) were listed as endangered in 2003. Spanish moss (actually a member of the pineapple family) grows profusely in the southern regions but is rare in the north.

Louisiana's varied habitats—tidal marshes, swamps woodlands, and prairies—offer a diversity of fauna. Deer, squirrel, rabbit, and bear are hunted as game, while muskrat, nutria, mink, opossum, bobcat, and skunk are commercially significant furbearers. Prized game birds include quail, turkey, woodcock, and various waterfowl, of which the mottled duck and wood duck are native. Coastal beaches are inhabited by sea turtles, and whales may be seen offshore. Freshwater fish include bass, crappie, and bream; red and white crawfishes are the leading commercial crustaceans. Threatened animal species include five species (green, hawksbill, Kemp's ridlly, leatherback, and loggerhead) of sea turtle. Twenty-three Louisiana animal species were on the US Fish and Wildlife Service's threatened and endangered species list for 2003. Among those listed are the Louisiana black bear, bald eagle, Alabama heelsplitter, and redcockaded woodpecker.