• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

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  • Columbus Day Closures

    All park sites closed Monday, October 13, for Columbus Day. Follow the link for information about park hours and days and about access to the Barataria Preserve and Chalmette Battlefield/Chalmette National Cemetery on holidays. More »

Nature & Science

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.

To learn about natural resource issues and projects at the park, check out the public involvement and park management pages or explore with park researchers.

An adult bald eagle
Bald eagles are frequently seen at the Barataria Preserve. Look for them perched in tall trees near bayous and canals.
US Fish and Wildlife Service

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.


Image of alligator peering out from between leaves

The BioBlitz 2013 adventure is over at the Barataria Preserve, but what was learned will guide park management decisions for years to come.

What we know about the Barataria Preserve was vastly increased by BioBlitz 2013, a partnership between the National Park Service and National Geographic that teamed up scientists with hundreds of students on school field trips, families, and people interested in science and nature. What will the park do with what we learned? Find out here.

Did You Know?

Vultures arrive on land.

Vultures do not have many predators. If an enemy does approach, the vulture will face its enemy and vomit. This inventive bird also has a unique way to stay cool: it urinates on its legs. The urine also helps kill any germs picked up while standing on a carcass.