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Hunting in Louisiana: 5 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened and Protected Species

By    |   Monday, 25 May 2015 06:08 PM

Louisiana is a state that prides itself on its wonderful hunting spots, variety of wildlife and areas of magnificent natural beauty. With that pride comes a responsibility to protected animals, and good management for stocks of threatened and endangered species. The Pelican State is to the forefront of enforcing and passing laws that protect the listed animals, and hunters must be aware of their obligations when on a hunt.

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Here are five animals that are considered under threat or need of protection in Louisiana:

1. Louisiana Black Bear
This beautiful animal is under threat throughout the USA and no less so in Louisiana. The large, shy black coated bear once roamed freely throughout the state and is solitary except when a mother is with cubs. The bear prefers thick hardwood forests or swamps and likes to den in tree cavities and thick vegetation.

Numbers are in decline because of habitat damage due to housing, industry, and agricultural activity. The Louisiana black bear is found in the river basins of Terrebonne, Atchafalaya, Vermilion-Teche, and Ouachita. According to the LDWF, the black bear ranks at No. 2 in their endangered species list, just below being classified as imperiled.

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2. Eastern Spotted Skunk
Another animal in danger throughout the U.S. is the Eastern spotted skunk. In Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) ranks it as imperiled on its list of endangered species and hunting is forbidden. This small skunk, with a distinctive white-tipped tail, lives in and around the river basins of Pearl, Pontchartrain, Mississippi, Mermentau, Calcasieu, and Sabine. Threats to its existence come from damage to its natural habitats of shallow burrows from housing development, being killed by cars at night and hunting by humans who mistake it for more common species of skunk. The LDWF are educating the population about this little skunk to try save the Louisiana population from extinction.

3. The Long Tailed Weasel

This animal is in danger in Louisiana, ranking No. 2 on the state list of threatened species putting just below being imperiled. It likes to live in woodlands, open brush areas, river banks, and field edges making it particularly vulnerable to threats from commercial and agriculture development. Pesticide use is of particular danger to the long-tailed weasel. This brown and yellow furred animal has very local breeding grounds and the destruction of them can lead to the wiping out of the animal in an area.

4. The American Woodcock
This plump brown bird of the woodcock family is ranked No. 2 in the LDWF’s system for endangered species. Though numbers can be high during the migratory season, beginning in mid-December, the native population of American Woodcock has been in decline for many years. Hunting and quota numbers are strictly enforced during the short season. Habitat decline from agriculture, housing and commercial development is a big threat to the bird and the LDWF has an active plan in place for encouraging woodcocks to breed.

5. The Golden Eagle
Once thought to be a danger to farm animals, the Golden Eagle was nearly hunted to extinction across the United States. The Bald Eagle Preservation Act prohibits the hunting of this beautiful bird, and the act is vigorously enforced in Louisiana. The biggest threat to the Golden Eagle in the Pelican State is habitat destruction due to housing and accidental death in traps or by poisoning. This rare bird is seen in the northeast of the state around national forests and densely wooded areas.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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