Guide to the wildlife to be found in the Loire
So, for nature lovers, it really is a treat to visit. But what’s in store for those who want to immerse themselves in the beautiful surroundings of the Loire region?
There are plenty of wildlife parks, nature reserves, trails, forests and countryside all over the region, all with their own species to reveal. The Loire is a wild river, so it is an important place for migrating birds. The river itself is so varied, from forest to sandy banks and open water, and so you can expect the wildlife to be too.
For example, beavers were reintroduced into the area over 305 years ago very successfully and can be seen up and down the river, but particularly the Ile de a Folie in Chaumont sur Loire, which is a particularly great spot to see dams and the beavers hard at work.
The Orléans Forest is the biggest natural forest in France. It’s home to many species of birds, including osprey and various species of eagle. Buzzards, woodpeckers, nightingales and larks. But it’s also a great place to see larger animals, such as wild boar and even wild cats.
Forests of La Solonge
Another great area to see in the Loire Valley is the lakes and forests of La Solonge, one of the most important wetlands in France. Home to a large variety of birds of prey, visitors can also see a number of different aquatic birds, from nine different species of heron to terns and grebes. As you would expect, this is also a perfect place for reptiles and amphibians, such as frogs, newts, vipers, snakes and salamanders.
The Forests of La Solonge cover an area of approximately 1,600 square kilometres and are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including wild boar, deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species. The forest also contains several bodies of water, including ponds and lakes, which provide habitats for fish and other aquatic creatures.
All along the bank, visitors will be able to spot a huge number of different butterflies and moths, 100 species of butterflies have been spotted in the area, and over 850 different types of moths! Dragonflies, too, with over 60 different species all in one corner of Europe.
Finally, if there’s one place you should go to, it’s the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nature Reserve which goes from Tours and Angers. A huge variety of wildlife to spot, and one of the best ways to tour the area is by canoe, a trail through the reserve really gets you right to the heart of nature.