Georgia is a state in the southeastern part of the United States. It is home to a diverse array of wildlife and all sorts of different species. The state’s varied habitats, from coastal wetlands to the Appalachian Mountains, provide homes for many populations of animals, you can encounter them even while are on camping.
In this article, we take a closer look at some of the most common wild animals in Georgia and where to find them.
The white-tailed deer is one of the most commonly seen wild animals in the entire country, and therefore in Georgia. These graceful, majestic mammals live in different habitats, from forests to grasslands. This species is known for its distinctive white tail that they raise when alarmed.
White-tailed deer are an important part of Georgia’s hunting culture and are valued for their meat.
Coyotes are a relatively recent addition to the echelon of Georgia wildlife. Originally found primarily in the western United States, coyotes have gradually spread eastward and can now be found throughout much of Georgia and the neighboring states.
These adaptable animals are opportunistic hunters and scavengers whose distinctive yipping calls are quite famous.
Black bears live in most parts of Georgia and they are the largest predators. They are most commonly seen in the northern part of the state though. These large, powerful animals are omnivorous and will eat everything from nuts and berries to insects and other mammals.
Black bears are crucial to the ecosystem since they help control populations of other animals and spread seeds from fruits and nuts.
Raccoons are common in the majority of Georgia and are famous far and wide for their distinctive “bandit” masks. These adaptable and not-at-all shy animals are omnivorous and are willing to eat just about anything, from fruits and nuts to insects and small mammals.
They are intelligent and have dexterity that allows them to open doors and containers in search of food.
Similar in their adaptive and explorative nature to the raccoons, opossums are also common in Georgia, particularly in the suburban parts. They are nocturnal animals and the only marsupials in North America, and famous for their ability to “play dead” when threatened.
Opossums are omnivorous and will literally eat anything they can find.
Alligators’ natural habitat in the state is are the coastal wetlands of Georgia, particularly in the Okefenokee Swamp. These large, powerful reptiles are apex predators and play an important role in their ecosystem.
Alligators are a very popular attraction for tourists in this state, almost as much as in Florida. There are airboat tours to see them up close.
Since there are lush forests and wetlands in Georgia, it is also home to a wide variety of snakes. This includes venomous species like rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths.
While these snakes can be dangerous, they are also an important part of the ecosystem there. They help control populations of rodents like mice and rats as well as insects.
Bobcats are relatively common, particularly in the northern and central parts of the state. These medium-sized wild cats are known for their distinctive tufted ears, short tails, and spotted coats. They are solitary animals primarily active at night when they hunt for small mammals such as rabbits, rodents, and birds. Bobcats are adaptable and live in a variety of habitats, from forests to grasslands.
Although elusive and easily startled and trying to avoid human contact, sightings have become more common in suburban areas in recent years. They are an important part of the state’s ecosystem, helping to control populations of other animals and contributing to the overall biodiversity of the region.
Where to Find Wild Animals in Georgia?
We can all agree that the aforementioned animals are quite exciting, as well as that they would be magnificent sights out in nature. To make this a reality and get an unforgettable experience of wild animals in their natural Georgia habitats, make sure to visit these places:
1. Okefenokee Swamp
This vast and pristine wilderness area in southeastern Georgia is home to a wide range of wildlife. Since it is a swamp, the most exciting of them includes alligators. However, you can also see black bears, bobcats, otters, and many bird species.
2. Chattahoochee National Forest
This is a massive forest located in northern Georgia that covers more than 750,000 acres. It is home to a variety of wildlife that can be spotted during hiking and camping trips. There, visitors can come across black bears, deer, coyotes, and birds.
3. Cumberland Island National Seashore
The barrier island off the coast of Georgia is a wildlife paradise very well worth your time. Believe it or not, it has wild horses! Other animals include armadillos, alligators, and sea turtles among the many other marvelous wild animals that call it home.
4. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
The wildlife refuge stretches across 30,000 acres along the Savannah River and is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Alligators, deer, bobcats, birds… there is no telling what else you may spot while exploring it far and wide.
5. Jekyll Island
Last but not least, we have an island for you. It is a barrier island off the coast of Georgia that is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Sea turtles, dolphins, and alligators round up the most exciting aquatic animals you can spot. The island is also home to a sea turtle center where visitors can learn about these amazing animals.