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Wildlife and nature in France

Wildlife of FranceFrance is home to a wide range of relatively untouched habitat which supports a large population of wildlife, birds and animals.

There are huge forested areas where native animals such as the Red Squirrel and Wild Boar are common.

As well as its native species France is also home to some wildlife that has been introduced from other parts of the globe such as the Coypu and the Genet.

The Alpine Ibex

The WolfThe Alpine Ibex can be found in the Alps region of France it is often known by its German name the Steinbock it is instantly recognisable by its magnificent curved-back horns...

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The Raccoon Dog

Raccoon DogThe Raccoon Dog looks very much like a raccoon but is in fact a member of the dog family which has spread to France from...

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The European Black Widow Spider

European Widow spiderThe European or Mediterranean black widow spider Latrodectus tredecimguttatus can pack a very nasty bite. Although the bite is rarely fatal...

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The Edible Dormouse or Loir

The Edible Dormouse or LoirThe Edible dormouse is nocturnal and gregarious in nature, often living in groups of up to 30. It spends most of its day asleep in a drey like nest...

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Stone Martens or La Fouine

Stone MartenSmart, cute and as mischievous as a weasel the Stone or Beech Marten is widespread across France...

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The Shy & Elusive Genet

The GenetOriginally from Africa the Common Genet was introduced into France in the 6th century when it was used by man for catching rodents rather like ferrets are used today...

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Wolves in France

The WolfDuring the last 20 or so years wolves have been slowly increasing in numbers in the mountainous regions of the Alps and notably in the Mercantour national park...

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Le Frelon - European Hornet

FrelonFor many people their first encounter with the Frelon or European hornet is in France. These huge wasp like creatures can measure as much as 3.5 cm long...

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The Muskrat

MuskratThe Muskrat is a large semi aquatic territorial rodent that is native to South America but like the Coypu was introduced to Northern Europe and consequently France...

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The Coypu

CoypuThe Coypu is widely distributed across France and is present in many lakes and waterways feeding on aquatic vegetation, roots, stems, water lilies and lake side plants it causes much damage to river and lake...

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The European Beaver

The European BeaverThe European Beaver was once hunted to virtual extinction for it's fur and also for a secretion from it's scent gland called castoreum which was used for its medicinal properties as it...

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Pine Martens

The Pine MartenPine Martens are attractive animals belonging to the weasel family which includes Polecats, Stoats and Otters, they are native to Europe...

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Red Squirrels

The Red SquirrelThe Red squirrel is a protected animal throughout most of Europe and is far more common in France than the UK, this is mainly because of an...

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Marbled Newts

The Marbled NewtEasily mistaken for a lizard, the Marbled Newt is very striking, females and young adults have an orange stripe and the males have a large crest along their backs in the breeding...

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The Midwife Toad

The Midwife ToadThe new man of the toad family. In this species of small toads it's the male that cares for the young. After the female has spawned he carefully wraps the strings of eggs around his back legs and looks after them until...

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Walking in the forests of Brittany

ForestIn clearings where the sun can break through and along the edge of the the woods you will always find the Foxglove Digitalis purpurea it has many other names including goblins...

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Wild Boar or Sanglier

Wild BoarWild Boar prefer to live in dense forests and undergrowth and are mainly nocturnal, living in close knit family groups, although older males tend to be solitary...

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Stag Beetles

Stag BeetleFrom around the beginning of June on warm evenings we start to hear the drone of male Lucanus Cervus as they make their apparently impossible flights to seek out the females. The females don't fly as often as the males...

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The Fire Salamander

The Fire SalamanderAmong the most colourful of the salamanders is the Fire Salamander, widely distributed across France these nocturnal creatures derived their name because of their habit of hibernating in damp logs...

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