From the Alpine region to the wetlands of Camargue, Europe is full of amazing wildlife. Thousands of unique species can be found on the European continent. Here’s a look at a few you won’t find in the wild anywhere else!
5. European Roe Deer
One of the smaller, daintier deer species of the world, the European roe deer can be found grazing in meadows and forests across Europe. They typically weigh around 55 pounds or less and stand at just around 4 feet tall.
European roe deer are known for their petite size, graceful movements, and smaller-sized antlers. Like most deer, the European roe deer goes through a rutting season every year. The males, or bucks, become aggressive and territorial and will often fight to acquire courtship with a female deer, or doe, and mate. After the rutting season is over, both sexes of deer tend to go their own way and remain solitary for the remainder of the year.
While almost every continent has some form of deer, visitors still delight in seeing these dainty deer frolic and forage along countryside roads in over a dozen European countries.
The chamois is a unique hoofed mammal that is part of the Caprinae family, or more commonly referred to as the goat-antelope family. These unique animals can be found throughout several mountainous regions across Europe, including the Alps, Pyrenees, and Carpathian Mountains.
Resembling a typical mountain goat, the chamois has cloven hooves and two horns protruding from its head. It is well adapted to mountain life and can move swiftly through steep, rocky terrain. Chamois spend most of their time grazing on various types of vegetation that grow along the mountainsides they roam.
While some small farms have begun breeding chamois as livestock, the only place to spot them in the wild is high up in the mountains of Europe.
3. European Bison
An ancient species with a storied past, the European bison once roamed large swaths of land across Europe until nearly being hunted to extinction. The bison that roam Europe today only exist due to intensive rewilding efforts. While only existing in a small portion of their historic range, bison populations are considered in recovery and steadily rising. The largest herds are found in the forests of Poland and Belarus, where they spend their days grazing on grass.
Similar to their American cousins, European bison are large, powerful animals known for their dark fur with beard-like growth around the face and a signature “humped” back. They can reach heights of over 6 feet and weights of over 2,000 pounds. They are the largest land mammals in Europe.
An icon of strength and resilience, European bison are a truly magnificent species that you won’t find anywhere else in the world!
2. Alpine Long-Eared Bat
Fluttering around European forests and caves, the Alpine long-eared bat is often found in mountainous regions such as the Alps, Pyrenees, and Balkans. It was named for the Alpine region in which it was first discovered and its unique long ears.
Like many bats, the Alpine long-eared bat roosts in caves during the day and spends its evenings out on the hunt for insects, mainly moths found alongside mountain meadows. They are rarely spotted by humans unless they wander into attics of remote mountainside homes, which they occasionally do.
While bats can be found in almost every corner of the world, these unique little, long-eared cuties are only found in Europe!
1. Camargue Horse
Stunning all who lay eyes upon them in the South of France, Camargue horses are one of the rarest and oldest horse breeds in the world. Considered semi-wild, Camargue horses descended from ancient wild horses but are now somewhat managed by humans. Herds of Camargue horses can be seen roaming through the wetlands and coastal areas of the Camargue region for which they were named.
Said to be some of the most beautiful horses in the world, Camargue horses are known for their silky white coats, long manes, and graceful gallop. There are different herds of horses throughout the region, some being more wild than others. Of the more domesticated Camargue horses, many are used for riding and herding.
Every year, countless visitors flock to the Camargue region to see these majestic horses. While other types of wild horses exist around the world, the Camargue horse is unique to this region only and one of the most amazing animals found in Europe.