About Wildlife in Alabama

About Wildlife in Alabama
Alabama is home to a huge array of wildlife. There are numerous species of fish, mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles that are native to Alabama. Some like the black bear, the state's official mammal, have had their range in the state cut down significantly but others such as the nine-banded armadillo are plentiful all over Alabama.


There are 62 species of mammals native to Alabama according to the Outdoor Alabama website. Carnivores such as the coyote, gray fox and red fox are common while black bears, which were once much more widespread, are now limited to an area north of Mobile. Bobcats, skunks, raccoons, mink, weasels and otters are found all over the state. The nine-banded armadillo lives throughout Alabama as does the opossum and four different species of rabbits. Shrews, moles and many rodents such as the chipmunk, woodchuck, fox squirrel, and gray squirrel are native to the state. Other commonly seen rodents are the Southern flying squirrel, several types of mice and the beaver, which has fought its way back from near extinction in this state to become abundant wherever there is open water for habitat.



The Alabama Ornithological Society lists 420 species of birds that breed in Alabama, spend the winter in its warmer climate, or migrate through the state. Among these is the state bird, the yellowhammer, also called the northern flicker. It is a very large woodpecker species that stays all year round. Falcons, hawks and ospreys are not at all uncommon and eagles, owls and other birds of prey such as kites and the northern harrier call Alabama home. Smaller songbirds such as chickadees and wrens can be heard all over Alabama. Larger birds such as turkeys, herons, ravens and crows inhabit this Southern state. Water birds like the loon, grebe, green-winged teal and wood duck can be located on lakes and ponds. Shorebirds are also plentiful, with species of plovers, gulls and terns along the coastal region.


More than 93 reptile species live in Alabama, with 31 different kinds of turtles and 49 snakes among them. The American alligator is dispersed along the coastal plain in the rivers, lakes, and swamps. The common snapping turtle is all over Alabama but the alligator snapping turtle is becoming harder to find after being hunted as a food source for decades. Sea turtles, painted turtles, mud turtles and the soft-shell turtle comprise most of the species of this reptile while the gopher tortoise is listed as a threatened species. Lizard species include geckoes, skinks and anoles. Snakes include the black racer, corn snake, rat snake, king snake and several types of water snake. Poisonous snakes reside in Alabama. There are three kinds of rattlesnakes, the copperhead and the cottonmouth, or water moccasin (the only water snake in North America that is venomous). The eastern coral snake is a colorful highly poisonous snake that is now rare in Alabama.


There are 30 frogs and 43 salamander species among the wildlife of Alabama. Toads such as the American toad, the Southern toad and the Eastern spade foot are all common. Frog species include many tree frogs, spring peepers, the American bullfrog, the pickerel frog, and leopard frog. Species of salamander such as the mudpuppy, the spotted salamander and the hellbender, which can grow as long as a foot and a half, can be discovered in Alabama.


One of Alabama's rarest fish is the Alabama sturgeon, located now only in the Alabama, Tombigbee and Cahaba Rivers. Lampreys, paddlefish, gar and bowfin are fish species found in Alabama. Sportsmen regularly fish for eel, trout, perch, catfish, white and black crappie and bluegill in Alabama waters. There is no shortage of largemouth and smallmouth bass; the largemouth was designated the official state fish of Alabama in 1975. There are many different kinds of shiners, darters and sunfish swimming in the streams, rivers, ponds and lakes of the state.


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