What Kind of Animals Live in France?

gaikokujinkun/CC-BY 2.0

Animals living in France as native species include red deer, ibexes, genets, muskrats, otters, rabbits, Alpine marmots, lynxes, beavers, polecats, badgers, wild Camargue horses, ragondins and foxes. Protected species include pine martens, hen harriers, red squirrels, chamois, wild boar and peregrine falcons. France has many areas that are still wild, with natural habitats for its animals.

France’s wide range of natural habitats allows it to support an equally wide variety of animals. The ibex is native to the Alpine regions of France; it is recognizable by its long horns that curve backward behind its head. Genets were introduced to France from Africa in the sixth century and were originally trained to catch rodents, as ferrets are in modern times. Muskrats came to France from South America as a part of the fur farming movement. In addition, wild hamsters live in the Rhine Valley.

Although brown bears and wolves were becoming threatened in France, brown bears have been reintroduced in the Pyrenees Mountains and wolves in the Alps, particularly in Mercantour National Park. Beavers have also been reintroduced to the Rhône Valley after nearly becoming extinct in France. Red squirrels are protected throughout Europe and are more common in France than in some other countries. The chamois, a mountain goat living in the Alps, is considered one of the emblematic animals of the Alps.