South Louisiana is known for alligators, Spanish moss, and live oak trees, but it is also home to armadillos, otters, and hundreds of species of birds. The Barataria Preserve south of New Orleans is the park's wildest site with 23,000 acres of swamp, marsh, trails, and waterways, a living laboratory of Louisiana's endangered wetlands.
The natural world is never far away at any site, however. Chalmette Battlefield provides a resting place for birds traveling along the Mississippi River flyway, bayous meander behind the Acadian Cultural Center and the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center, open farmland surrounds the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, and butterflies migrate over the French Quarter Visitor Center.
The virtual museums of the National Park Service offer online visits to parks and information about nature, science, history, and more.
Natural Resource Reports - summaries and full text articles for many of the park's natural resource reports are available on the National Park Service Gulf Coast Inventory and Monitoring Network website. For more information on a particular report, e-mail the park.
What we know about Jean Lafitte's Barataria Preserve was vastly increased by BioBlitz 2013, a partnership between the National Park Service and National Geographic that teamed up scientists with over 3,000 students on school field trips, families, and people interested in science and nature. During a 24-hour blitz through bayous, swamp, forest, and marsh, the investigators found and identified hundreds of species of plants and animals. Learn more about what happened here.