Jean Lafitte NHPP
Mammal Inventory & Monitoring Program


Barataria Mammal Sightings from the Public -- 2003-2005.

The following is a ongoing list of sightings reported by the public (via the Visitor's Center or by e-mail) of mammals observed at Barataria, beginning in October of 2003. The public is urged to report your findings (see below) in as much detail as possible.  

Oct. 27, 2003 Squirrels, woodpecker, and red birds on the Bayou Coquille Trail.
Oct. 27, 2003 Several squirrels on the Bayou Coquille Trail.
Nov. 2, 2003 Two deer (doe and fawn) on Bayou Coquille Trail near entrance at 8 am.
Nov. 10, 2003 We saw a nutria on Coquille Trail, about 12 feet from trail on a small mound.
Nov. 12, 2003 Two armadillo on Christmas Road (right side towards Wood Duck Trail).
Nov. 15, 2003 7 squirrels and a rabbit in the Pecan Grove area.
Nov. 15, 2003 4 armadillos at the Pecan Grove Picnic area.
Nov. 20, 2003 Nutria approx. 10 feet from side of boardwalk just before the boardwalk stops "where the swamp turns to marsh".
Nov. 25, 2003 Deer (at least 2) and quite a few armadillos (got some good pictures) on the Plantation Trail.
Nov. 29, 2003 Armadillo on the East Bank of Bayou des Familles.
Nov. 29, 2003 Big raccoon, digging for and finding food. The usual vast numbers of squirrels and humans - Coquille boardwalk just across from Boat Landing.
Nov. 30, 2003 1 large alligator, turtle, small snake, large (maybe river otter - had a long tail), cardinal, squirrels, egret, hawk, and heard crows or ravens. On Trail.
Dec. 8, 2003 2 grey squirrels near trail - Bayou Coquille Trail.
Dec. 12, 2003 Juvenile (or small) raccoon approx. 100 yards north of first bridge as you leave the Visitor Center. Observed foraging/digging for 10 minutes - Palmetto Trail.
Dec. 15, 2003 Large scat of unidentified omnivore. About 3+ inches long just under an inch in diameter. I could see a red berry in it and lots of fur. It was not made of broken chords, I wonder whose it was. On Plantation Trail/Wood Duck Trail.
Dec. 18, 2003 Spotted small raccoon in tree along the Main Road.
Dec. 21, 2003 Nutria at Bayou Coquille.
Dec. 23, 2003 I spotted a armadillo in a canal.
Jan. 15, 2004 Squirrel - slow, fat, not afraid of humans - at Bridge # 3 of Coquille Trail.
Jan 23, 2004 I spooked a deer at 8:45 a.m. yesterday on the Palmetto Trail about 500 feet from the Bayou Coquille parking lot. It ran west into the palmettos so quickly that I couldn't determine its sex. It was an adult. About midday I came across a half-grown marsh rabbit hunkered down in the vegetation -- cut grass, I think -- near the end of the Bayou Coquille Trail. Its ears were very short. Is that a sign of immaturity? It was enjoying the sun and did not seem seriously frightened by my presence.
March 6, 2004 On Friday on the far (west) side of the Kenta Canal from the platform that marks the intersection of the Bayou Coquille and Marsh O'look trails, about 50 ft. into the flotant there is a mud island supporting a wax myrtle that I cut down. On that little mud island were several deposits of rabbit scat.
March 8, 2004 On the Bayou Coquille and Marsh O'look trail yesterday (3-7-4) with recently arrived ranger Rodriguez. One hundred feet west (outbound) from bridge no. 7 was coyote scat that was probably left during the night. Halfway out on the Marsh O'look trail was what we decided was scat from an immature possum, also less than 24 hours old. On the bridge over the Kenta Canal at the end of the trail were several deposits of raccoon scat, some fresh, some
Mar. 11, 2004 Rabbit, brownish-red on Bayou Coquille Trail across from the "spell of the swamp" sign.
Mar. 13, 2004 Rabbit, about 10 inches long, reddish brown, short ears - tail brown or tan and white underneath on Marsh Overlook Trail about 200 m north of Bayou Coquille.
Mar. 20, 2004 I saw a marsh rabbit alongside the Bayou Coquille trail just beyond bridge no. 7. It is a place where I frequently see rabbits. There was so coyote scat on the bridge across the Bayou Coquille canal on the Marsh Overlook trail. On the Visitor Center trail only about 500 ft. into the swamp I came across three raccoons at noon in bright sunshine. From their actions they appeared to be a female with two 3/4 grown young. They may have been feeding on a snake because the swamp there is teeming with water snakes.
Mar. 23, 2004 3 nutria (2 adults and 1 juvenile?) on East Bank of Kenta Canal approx. 250 m North of Marsh Overlook Trail.
Mar. 24, 2004 2 adult nutria and 4 juvenile nutria at midpoint of Bayou Coquille Trail.
Mar. 25, 2004 3 squirrels on trail of Bayou Coquille.
Mar. 26, 2004 There was fresh coyote scat near the end of the Marsh Overlook Trail this morning. There seemed to be more gray squirrels that usual this morning, although it may be because I was fairly early on the trail. I estimate that I saw over 50. Also, along the Bayou Coquille Trail near the "Abundance of Life" bay between bridges 6 and 7 there was a family group of 4 nutria, an adult and three juveniles, scampering around. They were really bothered when an F/A 18 went overhead at full power.
Mar. 27, 2004 3 grey squirrels on Kenta Canal boardwalk,
Mar. 27, 2004 2 nutria (large) at the 2nd turnout to left of Coquille Trail.
Mar. 27, 2004 Around 6 gray squirrels on Coquille Trail.
Mar. 27, 2004 2 squirrels, several snakes, then 4 squirrels, 7 snakes, 2 gators, on Palmetto Trail.
April 2, 2004 Out toward the end of the Marsh Overlook trail today there were several droppings of scat: raccoon, coyote, rabbit, and what I think is probably possum. One coon had left his dung on the steps of the bridge over the canal. I went under the platform at the end to pick up trash, and in the mud there I saw tracks of mostly raccoon, possibly possum, and a small deer. We also disturbed a rabbit that was loitering under the boardwalk near the end of the trail.
Apr 13, 2004 4 squirrels and 1 nutria on Coquille Trail.
Apr. 18, 2004 A squirrel on Bayou Coquille.
Apr. 18, 2004 Squirrel at Bayou Coquille.
Apr. 21, 2004 Nutria (no location).
April 22, 2004 At 9:30 this morning I came across an otter on the Twin Canals Trail on top of the levee. It ran down the levee to the south canal and paused for a few moments at the water's edge. I had an excellent view of it, very large and healthy looking with bright brown fur. It then slipped into the canal. I've never seen an otter there, and hadn't seen one anywhere in the park for 2 years.
April 27, 2004 This morning on the boardwalk near the end of the Bayou Coquille Trail and on the marsh overlook trail there were several fresh deposits of raccoon scat.
May 3, 2004 Raccoon at Bayou Coquille.
May 6, 2004 On the Cinco de Mayo there was a road-kill possum on Hwy 45 at the entrance to Bayou Coquille parking lot. Now that there aren't as many visitors on the trails, the squirrels have returned in numbers.
May 9, 2004 Raccoon on Visitor Center Trail 100 feet before Palmetto spur.
May 18, 2004 This morning on the far end of the Bayou Coquille Trail and on the Marsh Overlook Trail, including on the bridge over the Bayou Coquille canal, there were several deposits of fresh scat, apparently coyote and coon. They were very fresh, obviously left after last night's thunderstorm.
June 21, 2004 I saw a coon scat pile on the boardwalk in front of the door to the Law Enforcement office.
July 8, 2004 About 11:30 today I took a lunch break in the picnic section of the Pecan Grove area. When I finished, I went to put my trash into a can whose top was off. In the can was, I thought, the carcass of a young possum. Aha! The carcass looked up when I started putting trash into the can, like a cat who is annoyed at being awakened. I put the rest of the trash in another can, and the sleeper went back to playing possum in the garbage can. He was about 3/4 adult size.


You can help !!

Members of the public can help us by reporting observations of mammals or mammal sign (tracks, scat, etc...) they make at either Barataria or Chalmette National Historical Park and Battlefield.  Here is a copy of our pubic flyer asking for your assistance ==>  PUBLIC FLYER (in pdf).

You can help us understand the distribution, habits, and ecology of your park’s mammals by reporting the following to the Visitor’s Center -or directly to Dr. Craig S. Hood -- -

• sightings or observations on mammals
• locations of animal remains
• locations of sign (tracks, droppings)
• locations of owl pellets

It is important that you describe the sighting or observation in as much detail as possible, and especially, the specific location, so that we can investigate it and enter it into our GPS data.  Please remember that this is a National Park and all resources are protected.  It is illegal to collect any natural objects including mammals (even their remains).  Just give us your info and we’ll check it out.

In addition to contacting Park personnel in the Visitor’s Center, feel free to contact -- Dr. Craig Hood, Loyola Univ., (504) 865-2193 or 220-2193

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