Animals in Alabama

Updated: January 29, 2023
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Alabama has a varied topography that ranges from steep hills to fertile flatlands, lakes, and rivers. Its coastline on the Gulf of Mexico includes 600 miles of tidal bay and bayou shoreline. Alabama has more than 60 types of natural habitat, including forests, woodlands, wetlands, glades, and prairies. The weather stays warm and humid most of the year, and snowfalls are rare.

Because of its topography and climate, Alabama is one of the most ecologically diverse states in the country. It ranks fifth in the country–and first among states east of the Mississippi–for biodiversity.

There are over 4,500 documented species in Alabama. Among these animals are:

  • 62 native mammals.
  • 22 species of rodents.
  • 16 bat species.
  • Four rabbit species.
  • One marsupial: the opossum.
  • 433 bird species, including some of the rarest bird species in the world.

Its rodents include gray squirrels, fox squirrels, chipmunks, and southern flying squirrels. Alabama’s predators include the bobcat, coyote, red fox, and gray fox. Its coastal waters are home to sharks, strange fish like the Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene) and common marine mammals like the killer whale and California sea lion.

Bat species include the Mexican free-tailed bat, eastern red bat, and evening bat.

One of Alabama’s strange critters is the nine-banded armadillo (Herpailurus yagouaroundi). The state mammal of Texas, this small, armored beast spends its days eating insects and small reptiles.

The Official Animal of Alabama

Alabama’s official state animal is the North American black bear (Ursus americanus). It shares this state mammal with West Virginia. Black bears were once rare in Alabama, but their population has grown in recent years.

Alabama’s official amphibian is the red hills salamander. This strange creature lives in deep forest ravines and can grow 11 inches long. The red hill salamander is threatened because of habitat loss.

Where To Find the Top Wild Animals in Alabama

More than 1 million people visit Alabama each year just to view wildlife and birds. Alabama has dozens of reserves, national parks, and protected natural areas. They are all wonderful places to see the state’s most common animals.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Alabama Today

There were 56 animal-related fatalities in Alabama between 1999 and 2003. The following are a couple of the most dangerous animals in Alabama:

Brown recluse spider: This tiny spider is mostly found in the northern part of the state. They enjoy warm places like bedding and boxes. Their bite causes intense pain, and their venom can cause tissue death.

Snakes: Alabama has six venomous snake species, including the cottonmouth or water moccasin, which is the only venomous water snake in North America. Fortunately, their bite is not deadly if you get prompt medical attention. Alabama is also home to some black snakes and copperhead snakes.

Endangered Animals

Rice’s whale (Balaenoptera ricei) is a species of baleen whale native to the Gulf of Mexico. It is on the brink of extinction. These whales have not been a target of whaling activity, but they are highly sensitive to ecological disasters, underwater noises from vessel traffic and other human interference.

The Alabama beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) is one of the rarest mouse species in the world. It is found in only a few nature reserves and isolated areas of the state. It is one of the very few mouse species that live in sand dunes. Beach mice are a key part of the coastal dune ecosystem, and thriving mouse populations are a sign of dune health. The state has made protection of these mice one of its top conservation priorities.

The Appalachian cottontail (Sylvilagus obscurus) is found only in northern Alabama and is endangered. The marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) is also endangered.

Four species of animal once lived in Alabama but no longer occur there. They are the red wolf, cougar, elk and bison.

Check out more endangered animals living in Alabama.

Alligators, Armadillos and Alabama

Alabama is a wonderful place to watch wildlife and spot birds. Its mild weather and diverse habitats have allowed its native species to thrive. Continued conservation efforts will help protect endangered animals that help those ecosystems stay healthy.

Native Plants in Alabama

For lovers of flora and fauna, Alabama is the place to be. Located in the subtropical coniferous biome, you can find plants ranging from fireweed to ferns. The native plants in Alabama are worth exploring, as they flourish in diverse habitats.

Read about:

Alabamian Animals

Albino (Amelanistic) Corn Snake

Albino corn snakes great beginner snakes.

American Eel

Don't eat raw eel! Their blood is poisonous to humans when consumed raw.


They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Banded Water Snake

Some water snakes defend themselves violently.

Blue Catfish

It's a strong fighter when caught on a fishing line

Cane Spider

Cane spiders don't spin webs to catch prey

Clearnose Skate

The skate with translucent nose patches

Common Yellowthroat

The Common Yellowthroat stays close to the ground and uses stealth to survive!

Corn Snake

Corn snakes are partly arboreal and are excellent climbers.


Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.

De Kay’s Brown Snake

They have specialized jaws for removing snails from shells.

Eastern Box Turtle

When injured or damaged, the shell of the eastern box turtle can regenerate

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

This is the biggest venomous snake in North America, with a few that reach 8 feet long.

Eastern Fence Lizard

Females are usually larger than males.

Eastern Glass Lizard

When the glass lizard loses its tail it can grow another one. But the new tail lacks the markings of the old one and is usually shorter.

Eastern Hognose Snake

Eastern hognose snakes are venomous, but only to frogs and toads.

Eastern Woodrat

The eastern woodrat mating ritual involves a potentially deadly fight between the male and female before reproduction begins!


Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Florida Woods Cockroach

Often found on palmetto trees

Fox Squirrel

Although it is a tree squirrel, it spends most of its time on the ground.

Groundhog (Woodchuck)

They whistle to each other to warn of approaching danger!

Indigo Snake

Indigo snakes use brute force to overpower their prey.


They can run as fast as 45 mph.

Kentucky Warbler

The Kentucky Warbler appears to wear bright yellow cat-eye glasses!

King Snake

King Snakes eat other types of snakes.


Ladyfish are aggressive fighter when hooked, making them a favorite of anglers.


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.


Mockingbirds are incredible mimics that can learn hundreds of songs!

Mourning Warbler

The Mourning Warbler was named for its gray head, which resembles a mourning veil!


no stomach to digest food

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Polyphemus moth

The Polyphemus moth doesn’t eat.

Queen snake

Queen snakes have armor-like scales on the top of their head

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-Bellied Woodpeckers will often steal the nests of other birds.

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawks reuse the same nesting area each year.


Will mate with the entire flock!

Rough Earth Snake

It has a pointed snout that is uses to burrow into moist soil.


Some gulls are capable of using tools

Smallmouth Bass

A fierce fighter!

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

Smooth Earthsnake

Valeria Biddle Blaney (1828-1900) collected the first specimen in Maryland.

Southern Black Racer

These snakes live underground, beneath piles of leaf litter or in thickets, and they are expert swimmers.

Alabamian Animals List

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Animals in Alabama FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What rattlesnakes live in Alabama

Alabama is home to three rattlesnakes: the timber rattlesnake, pygmy rattlesnake, and the eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

What Animals Live in Alabama? 

Alabama has a wonderful diversity of animals. It has many of the common North American forest animals, including white-tail deer, opossums, shrews, rodents and foxes. The prairie areas are home to rabbits, snakes and armadillos. Its coastal waters teem with marine mammals, fish and whales. Alabama has many wetlands that are home to shorebirds and alligators.

What Dangerous Animals Live in Alabama?

Alabama has alligators, black bears and wild boars. Although these large predators can be aggressive when provoked, attacks on humans are rare. The most dangerous animals are the state’s venomous snakes and spiders.

What Animal is Alabama Known For?

Alabama is probably best known for Big Al, the elephant mascot of the University of Alabama football team. Big Al appears on the team’s flag and as a costumed mascot at the team’s games. The team, known as the Crimson Tide, has one of the most passionate, devoted fan bases of any college football team in the country.

What Mammals Live in Alabama?

Alabama’s predators include bobcats, coyotes and wolves. Otters, beavers and minks are mammals that live near its rivers and lakes. Beavers were once extinct in Alabama, but they are now plentiful all over the state. Its rodents include groundhogs, squirrels and chipmunks. Marine mammals like sea lions and killer whales inhabit the coastal waters.