Spot 10 Unusual French Animals During Your Vacation

by operator

For many travelers, France is the city of affection, wine and cheese, and home to the renowned Eiffel tower. Many individuals adore France for the countless stunning metropolises, with their captivating small lanes and houses, and the delightful culture and warmth of the people. However, France also boasts a highly diverse wildlife, in the numerous nature reserves, forests, and wildlife parks that are situated in this picturesque nation. From the splendid French Alps to the Camargue, let’s explore various types of wildlife in France. And, if you’re organizing a journey to France, make sure you don’t miss out on encountering these astounding wild creatures in their natural surroundings, an indubitably one-of-a-kind experience on any France excursion!

The Varied France Wildlife

So, which one of these formidable species of birds and animals would you prefer to spot when you visit the several nature reserves, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries on your exhilarating France vacation?


1. Lynx

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The lynx is a untamed feline species in the wildlife of France, that is extraordinarily challenging to spot, and you can consider yourself exceptionally fortunate if you ever get an opportunity to witness these uncommon untamed cats in France. Lynx’s were one of the many species that were pursued in the early 1900’s and thus there are not many of them in number now. The Lynx cats inhabit predominantly in the brush areas of the forests in mountainous regions and prefer to dwell very silent and secluded lives, only emerging from hiding to hunt for prey. Though it is troublesome to spot them, you may in fact get an occasion to spot their footprints, which are sometimes even larger than that of a man.

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2. Chamois

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An animal that is not as uncommon as the Lynx and an animal that you genuinely have a good opportunity of spotting is the Chamois, a goat-antelope species that for the most part inhabit rugged mountainous regions and can be found at altitudes higher than 3,600 meters. Since these animals are usually preyed upon by carnivorous species, like the Lynx, golden eagles, or sometimes even hunting humans, they can run at a rapid speed of up to 50 kilometers an hour and can jump quite high as well, reaching a height of 2 meters vertically and 6 km horizontally. Like goats, the diet of these animals is mainly comprised of grass, and in the summer months, herbs and shrubs are added to their food list.

Wild Boar

3. Gray Wolves

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Gray wolves are another type of creatures that were predominantly hunted down in the early 1900s. Subsequently, they made a comeback to become a part of the wildlife of France from the Italian Alps, and are primarily present in the French Alps now. This can be attributed to the abundance of prey and their ability to coexist peacefully with other animals in the region. Often seen in packs of 6-12, gray wolves use urine to mark their territories and can be easily spotted with the help of a knowledgeable guide. As carnivores, their diet consists mainly of herbivorous beings such as chamois, hares, beavers, deer, and occasionally bison.

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4. Feral Swine

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The feral swine is an endearing type of pig that also commonly resides in the French Alps but at lower altitudes, approximately 2000 meters above sea level. People feel apprehensive about these feral swine dwelling in residential areas due to their exceptional intelligence and perceptiveness, as they sometimes consume or trample upon crops. Given the plentiful presence of these animals in the forests of France, it is highly likely that you will cross paths with a couple of them during your visit to France. Similar to domestic pigs, feral swine are highly affectionate and social animals that live in large groups, with the exception of males who prefer solitary lives and only interact during the mating season. Feral swine are omnivorous and feed on foliage, shrubs, lizards, small invertebrates, and other easily accessible flora and fauna.

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Golden Eagles

5. Groundhogs

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You will absolutely adore these charming sizable squirrels, which can be spotted in many wildlife sanctuaries in France. They primarily reside in and construct tunnels, and infrequently come out, except for two times a day when they need to nourish themselves. They are incredibly sociable creatures, and they communicate with each other by emitting a whistle-like noise. When the temperature becomes excessively cold, they consume a great amount of food and generate layers of fat that will sustain them during their hibernation period in the winter. Because of their diminutive size, they spend the majority of their time concealing themselves, so as not to become victims of larger creatures. The diet of marmots includes berries, mosses, roots, flowers and green vegetation.

Roe Deer

6. Golden Eagles

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These ferocious birds are among the most perilous creatures in France. Their exceedingly swift velocity, their sharp talons, and powerful talons make it exceedingly effortless for them to seize prey from the ground such as rabbits, hares, squirrels, and marmots too. With the capability to travel approximately 250 kilometers per hour, the Golden Eagles are one of the swiftest-moving creatures on the planet and pose a genuine threat to their prey. An interesting fact about the Golden Eagles is that they form lifelong partnerships, and just like humans, these bonds are established through a courtship ceremony. The courtship ceremony involves the male and female Eagles picking up and dropping small stones and twigs from a height and catching them mid-air to impress the other.


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7. Roe Deer

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One of the most frequently observed creatures in the wildlife of France is the Roe Deer. The Roe Deer is a very gentle animal and is typically found attending to its own affairs, feeding on grass and other plants. They are not highly sociable animals and are usually found alone, except when they have found a mate. Among the Roe Deer, it is typically the female deer who approaches and initiates contact with the male, and once the female deer has set her sights on the male buck, it is common for her to entice him back into their home territory. A primary diet of the Roe Deer consists of fruits, grass, and other plants and berries found in the woodlands.

European Mink

8. Fox

There are numerous foxes in France, but it is uncommon to actually spot one in the woods as they are highly solitary creatures are extremely adept at concealing themselves. They dwell in the forests and can also be found in nearly every wildlife park in France. They are quite nimble and can travel up to 70 kilometers per hour, and unlike wolves or wild felines, they prefer to hunt for their prey individually. Foxes have a life expectancy of two years, and the majority of their diet consists of poultry, small creatures like birds and rodents, eggs, and even insects. In recent years, due to the fact that foxes invade the homes of the local inhabitants and snatch away their chickens and other poultry birds, it is not unusual for foxes to be pursued and killed by the local population.


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9. European Mink

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The European Mink, not to be confused for the very similar looking American Mink, is one of the most endangered animals in France. It is not easy to spot a mink during the day as they are nocturnal creatures and only come out at night for food. They are not sociable animals and do not live in groups, and perhaps the only time two European Minks will come together is when they mate. A female mink will give birth to around 2 to 5 offspring, and care for them for about a year after their birth. The life expectancy of the European mink is around 6 years and their diet consists of birds, fish, insects, frogs, and other small mammals.

10. Mouflon

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The Mouflon is another imperiled animal species in France. They are a sheep species and are mostly found living in the forests. A stunning brown coat and bordered horns make this magnificent creature easy to identify even with the naked eye. Due to their appearance, they are often targets of hunting and are gradually nearing extinction. Because of this, the Mouflon constantly need to be on the move and cannot reside in the same location for an extended period of time. Similar to any other sheep, the Mouflon also develop annual rings on their horns to aid in determining their age. The diet of the sheep mainly consists of plants, grass, and shrubs.

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These, and many more other animals that constitute the wildlife of France await you on your visit, and because of the fact that some of them are endangered, you may not have an opportunity to observe them in the near future. To ensure that you see all these animals while they are still a component of the wildlife, take a trip to France without delay!

Frequently Asked Questions About Wildlife In France

What are the various types of animals that are visible in France?

You will be able to find distinct types of wildlife in France that are quite rare including Lynx, Chamois, Wolves, Wild Boar, Marmots, Golden Eagles, Roe Deer, Fox, European Mink, and many more.

Why cats found in France are different than the cats found in other places?

You will get to see much larger cats in size than other cats found across the globe. Also, the cats found in France have a thick, long, striped tan that is quite aesthetically beautiful. Aside from the mentioned features, the cats are also quite heavy.

Can one witness bears in France?

The likelihood of seeing a bear in France is quite low because there is a total of 43 bears in the Pyrenees. The Pyrenees is situated at the border of France and Spain. Bears are facing extinction in France.

Does France have venomous scorpions?

France does have scorpions and they do possess venom, although they are not as venomous as those in Africa. However, the venom present in the scorpions found in France can affect one’s nervous system.

Can one observe wolves in France?

The possibility of seeing wolves in the heart of Paris might be slim, but France is recorded to have over 500 wolves living in the wild of the country. So, you might get to see wolves in the forests of France.

Does France have snakes?

France does have snakes. Furthermore, France has more than twelve different categories of snakes. However, most of them are not venomous.

Is black widow spider prevalent in France?

Although historically black widow spider has been associated with France, these spiders are mainly found in the Southern part of France, especially in Corsica.

Where can one find Lynx in France?

Lynx are found in the Pyrenees and Vosges areas of France. These animals feed on hares or deer for their survival.


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