British Hedgehog Preservation Society 
Centre Ornithologique Ile-de-France
EuroBirdNet Italia
London WIldlife Trust
Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (Bird Protection, France)
Mammal Society
National Federation of Badger Groups (UK)
Planete Passion (FR)
Reserves NaTurelles de France
Wildlife Trusts (UK)
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (UK)
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Big Cats
Oddball Animals



Odd Bird
Horseshoe Crab





Best Places to See Wild Animals in Europe

View Europe in a larger map

Plenty of fun animals live close to cities, suburbs and vacation spots.


What's Europe's Native Monkey?

Where are the Wisent Being Bred to Come Back?

How Can I Find the Storks and Flamingos?


austria belgium finland france germany   iceland italy Holland  
  Norway poland portugal russia   Espana sweden switzerland UK


Wolf Watch UK

Wolf Watch UK is a sanctuary that allows members to visit, photograph and listen to its wolfves and wolf-hybrids. They do not accept visitors shorter than 5 feet. Wolf admirers started the center to take in wolves that were not doing well in zoos wildlife parks. They also have night visits and wolf learning courses.
(office only, to visit email the center at
102 Nelson Way, Bilton, Rugby, Warwickshire, UK

basking shark


Penzance, UK Basking Shark
Basking sharks--the giant 30-foot fish known for eating plankton with a gaping mouth--are becoming almost as popular as whales to watch, says the Telegraph. They've shown up among swimmers on beaches on Britain's west coast.   From Penzance you can also take a 2-hour boat tour from Elemental ToursWildlife Extra recommends. You might also get to see dolphins, orcas, porpoises, minke, fin or pilot whales, grey seals or sunfish.

Wildwood Trust

The Wildwood Trust lets you see native European animals and tries to save the most endangered, like the Konik horses, the beaver, pine martens and red squirrels. The BBC describes them as bringing nature back 7,000 years. Fallow and red deer have big enclosures.
Wealden Forest Pk, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ, UK 01227 712 111
seal or sea lion

Swim with Canterbury Seals

Wildlife Sailing near Canterbury has a most unusual offer: they take you out on a 5 hour cruise with one hour on a sandbanks where you can swim with seals. "No need to swim to them they swim to us!" they say. Users comment confirm seals swim around the visitors playfully.
Unfortunately, many of the sandbanks are sinking so the operation may not go on.£23



New Forest Otter Owl & Wildlife Park
The New Forest Otter Owl & Wildlife Park breeds otters, takes in orphaned otters and has vastly more animals that its name suggests.
Bonus animals: pine martens, polecats, minks, stoats, badgers, red foxes, northern lynx, Scottish wildcats, hedgehogs, wallabies, wild boar and deer.
Open every day, except only weekends in January.
Lymington, SO41, UK, 01590 689 000
2009 £7.50, 7 kms from Southampton.
Bucklebury Farm Park
Bucklebury Farm Park has a "deer safari" program that lets you have a civilized meal along with your early morning or dusk trek to see their Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), Sika Deer (Cervus nippon), Chital or Axis deer (Axis axis) and Fallow Deer (Dama dama). 
Bonus animals: wild boar, farm animals
Bucklebury, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 6RR, United Kingdom
0118 971 4002

Wicken Fen

The National Trust runs Wicken Fen outside Cambridge. The herd of Konik ponies get to roam the East Anglia wetlands in family and bachelor groups. The 42 horses are mainly on the the Adventurers' Fen and there's a small group on Verrall's Fen, at the west end of the reserve.
What's great about Wicken Fen is that they respect the horses as managing the land, rather than think of them as destroying it for cattle.

Lode Lane, Wicken, Ely, Cambridgeshire, (+44) (0)1353 720274



Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre

Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre is part of a luxury lodge, Gwelan Mor, which takes in wildlife, especially foxes, and leads tours at night to try to see wild fox, deer and badger. They rescued a fox cub in 2010 that became a media sensation by befriending their lurcher dog.  They also have falconry demonstrations.
Portreath, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 4PE, UK 01209 842 354
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary gives a home to horses and ponies and tries to adopt them out. It's open 10-4, April-oct to tours in the summer.
Coombe Park Equestrian Centre, Littlehempston, Totnes, 01803 866615
Goat Sanctuary - UK
160-some goats live at the Goat Sanctuary. They arrived neglected, infested, abused, but now live in three happy herds. They each sleep in little rooms with a couple friends.
Vist 11 – 3 Mon. - Sat. by appt. Edge View Ln, Great Warford, Alderley Edge, Cheshire SK9, UK
red squirrel
Wildwood Trust - UK
The Wildwood Trust lets you see native European animals and tries to save the most endangered, like the Konik horses, the beaver, pine martens and red squirrels.
Fallow and red deer have big enclosures.
Wealden Forest Pk, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ, UK, 01227 712 111
Bowland Wild Boar Park - UK
The Bowland Wild Boar Park has an easy way to see their wild boar. You can go for a walk around their grounds--or if you're a kid, sit in a rocket-like car in a train pulled by a tractor. They have a ...
The Bowland Wild Boar Park has an easy way to see their wild boar. You can go for a walk around their grounds--or if you're a kid, sit in a rocket-like car in a train pulled by a tractor.
They have a lot more than wild boar. Bonus animals: Red squirrels, meerkats, farm animals, Lincolnshire Curly Coated Pig, miniature cows, red and fallow deer.
2 miles from Chipping, on the Dunsop Bridge road. In the Forest of Bowland.
Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve
The RSPB's reserve at Leighton Moss is where a huge colony of bitterns nest. Red deer are seen in fall. You might also see harriers hunting over the wetland.
01524 701601 Carnforth, Lancashire
basking shark
Isle of Man Basking Shark
The west coast of Britain and the Isle of Man is a good place to see basking sharks from May to August, says Wanderlust Magazine.
The Manx Basking Shark Watch keeps an excellent track of where people see these giants, usually from the land.
Peel Castle, Mona St, Peel; Castletown Bay and Point Erin Bay have been succesful viewing spots.
If you want to go out in a boat Manx Basking Shark Watch listscompanies.
seal or sea lion

Ramsey Island, WALES

Ramsey Island, off Pembrokeshire, has one of the biggest seal colonies in Europe. The RSPB Sanctuary is open April-Oct. Gray seals breed here in the fall.
Bonus species: Guillemot, Razorbill

basking shark
Basking Shark - Cardigan Bay
Cardigan Bay, off Wales, is one of the great basking shark locations in the UK,Wanderlust Magazine says.
The bay also has puffins, seals, porpoises, dolphins and sometimes leatherback turtle.
Cardigan Bay tours takes off from Pwllheli Marina, Gwynedd LL53, UK


killer whale

St. David's

Off of Wales, St. David's and Ramsey Island offers a chance to see dolphins and killer whales.You actually depart from Justinian, then head out to the Irish Sea. Along you'll see porpoise almost all the time, dolphins 95% and whales 30%, according to Offshore Islands Voyager.
Whales seen: Orca, Minke, Fin, Pilot
Birds: Island of Grassholm breeds 60,000
Bonus Species: Atlantic Grey Seals, basking shark
Dolphins: Common, White Sided, Bottlenose and Rissos Dolphin,
Orca: June, July, Sept.



seal or sea lion



Scotish Shore

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has a couple outposts in Scotland. The center at Sprey Bay--an hour from Inverness--is supposed to be one of the best land-based places to see dolphins. The wildlife center in North Kessock is a great place to see seals. You might also see otters, seals, osprey and whales. The WDCS Shorewatch map lists lots of places around Moray Firth to look for dolphins, including Chanonry Point.

basking shark


The Herberdes islands off Scotland are an important home to whales, dolphins, porpoises and even basking shark in summer. Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust keeps track of which species are seen when and where and has a visitor center at 28 Main St., Tobermory, Isle of Mull, PA75 6NU, United Kingdom 01688 302620
  • Ardnamurchan Point, Ardnamurchan Peninsula – minke whales and dolphins
  • Iona Sound – bottlenose dolphins
  • Tobermory Lighthouse, Mull – porpoise
  • Neist Point, Skye – all cetaceans possible here
  • Canna Harbour – minke whales and basking sharks

Long Loch, Scotland

Seals and otters live in Scotlands Long Loch and are part of a tour from Responsible Travel.  Near Argyll, Sealife Adventures offers tours near the Heberdies to see seals, porpoises and puffins. Bonus species: eagle, whale

Loch Garten Nature Reserve

The Loch Garten Nature Reserve is one of the most popular places to see wildlife in the UK. The harriers are the stars and are often followed by webcam.
The very rare and endangered capercaillie (a kind of grouse) nests here, but less than 2,000 are left.
They breed at leks in April and May and can sometimes be seen on early morning treks then.
Nethy Bridge,
Boat of Garten, PH25 3EF, UK


Bears World

Bears Wood (BÄRENWALD) started in 1996 when three bears who were kept as tourist attractions and pets needed a new home. A group of animal activists set up a new home for them as close as possible to their natural setting. In Austria bears were wiped out in 1842 and returned in recent years by crossing borders and reintroduction. Bears Wood Arbesbach is working to ban having bears in private collections. They estimate 25 bears live in the wild in Austria and 50 in captivity, 30 of which are in poor conditions. 
 Schonfeld 18, 3925 Arbesbach, Austria, 028 13 / 76 04

Stadspark, Antwerp

Antwerp's Stadspark is overrun with feral bunnies. They romp and breed in this small Belgian park like some sort of stand-in for squirrels. The rabbits are pretty colors and clearly dumped pets--or their offspring.


Het Zwin

Belgium's North Sea park Het Zwin has breeding storks and other birds. The project Storks Without Borders (Ooievaars zonder Grenzen) encourages and tracks the nests here and at nearby Plankendael zoo. Zwin (Knokke-Heist) white stork(Ciconia ciconia)nests have shrunk but those near Mechelen have increased. 


Bear Safari Raatteen Petobongaus

In Eastern Finland near the Russian border you can go out on an overnight bear safari at Raatteen Petobongaus, which has a viewing cabin. Summer only. Finland has 1,000 brown bear.
Raatteentie 73, 89800 Suomussalmi kk, +358 (0)40 8434 645



Salamajärvi National Park

Salamajärvi National Park is in a largely  uninhabitated, swampy area. Wild Forest Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) were reintroduced in 1970 and now there's 1,000. Moose are more common; 264,000 live in Finland.


Kainuu Flying Squirrel

Finland and Estonia have Europe's only flying squirrel population. According to Wild Taigi, there are few of them in Kuhmo, but lots in Kainuu and you can even arrange a tour.


Karelian Bear and Wolverine

You can stay overnight in a wildlife viewing cabin in Kolin Loma. You'll be hoping to see brown bear and wolverine among the Karelian nature.
+358 (0)50 349 6009

Rambouillet Animal Park
Just a half hour's train ride from Paris, l'Espace animalier (Animal Park) de Rambouillet lets you see wild boar (sanglier), red deer (cerfs), eagles (aigles) and other native animals in close to natural conditions.
Paris moms take their kids here to learn about nature. There are regularly scheduled falconry shows and a canopy walk (l'Odyssée Verte).
ESPACE RAMBOUILLET, Route du Coin du Bois, 78120 Sonchamp, France, 01 34 83 05 00
Bisons of Europe
Bison Europe is working to keep the last remaining wisent (the smaller European species of bison) alive. The last wild stock was in the Polish forest of Bialowieza. Since 1922 biologists have breeding them so they don't go extinct. A foot and mouth outbreak showed the danger of keeping them in one spot. So Bison Europe started in 1991.
Now you can see them on foot or by a sled or wagon pulled by horses. The bison-keepers admire the understanding between bison and horses, so they think it's a great way for people to respectfully visit the bison.



Center for the Reintroduction of Storks and Otters

The gorgeous village of Hunawihr host a center for reintroducing storks, the icon of Alcase. The 12-acre site is also working on otters. It's nextdoor to a botanical garden that has a butterfly garden. Hunawihr is on the Alsace Wine Route

Centre de Réintroduction des Cigognes,Route Ribeauvillé, 68150 Hunawihr, France
03 89 73 72 62

wild horse
Camargue Wild Horses
Camargue, a French regional park on the Mediterranean, is one of the best wildlife spots in Europe. It is home to the Camargue Horse and one of the few places in Europe you can see pink flamingos. This special breed of small horse may be descended from Solutre horses 17,000 year ago. About 30 herds roam the area.
Wolves of Gevaudan
The Parc des Goups du Gévaudan started as one journalist's dream to save wolves in the 60s. Now 130 wolves of various species from around the world live here and 100,000 people a year visit to catch a glimpse.
Sainte Lucie, 48100 Saint Léger de Peyre, France, 04 66 32 09 22


Several packs of European gray wolves roam acres of land. Les Loups de Chabrières was set up to educate the public about wolves and repair their image. You see them in the almost-wild from behind a giant wall with windows.
Parc Animalier des monts de Guéret 23000 Gueret 05 55 81 23 23

Temps du Loop

Wolves returned naturally to France in 1992. This center gets people used to the idea and the conflicts surrounding the wolf. There are programs about what shepherds think and captive wolf packs to see.
Alpha - le Temps du Loup, Le Boréon,  Saint-Martin-Vésubie, France, 04 93 02 33 69

Vanoise National Park - France
Vanoise National Park has 2,000 alpine ibex (the most of anywhere in France), chamois living up in the mountains, and beareded vultures, which are making a comeback.
Parc National de la Vanoise, 135 rue du Dr Julliand, BP 705, 73007 Chambéry, France
Monkey Mountain - La Montagne Des Singes
300 Barbary Macaques from around the world live on Monkey Mountain, a favorite place to visit for French children.
Since it started the park has reintroduced 600 monkeys back to the wild in Morocco, where they are endangered.
La Montagne Des Singes, Wick, 67600 Kintzheim, France 03 88 92 11 09
Camargue - France - Flamingos
Carmague, a French park on the Mediterranean, is one of the best wildlife spots in France. It's one of just a handful of places in Europe to see flamingos and it also has wild horses.

City of Insects

La Cite des Insectes lets you see a huge variety of insects inside (dead, mounted) and outside in the garden (alive, roaming). They also raise bees.
Chaud, 87120 Nedde, France, 05 55 04 02 55



Flying Eagles

Flying of the Eagles near Kintzheim was France's first raptor park when it started in 1968. That's when we first started realizing the crisis of reduced populations of raptors everywhere--due to both pollutants like DDT and centuries-old prejudices against hunting birds.
This park lets you see eagles very close up in flying shows and reintroduces raptors to the wild.
They have assembled HUGE collection of eagles, vultures, condors from around the world. Check out the Vautour de Pondichéry or the African Eagle. They have a lot of birds you won't see at U.S. raptor centers.Château de Kintzheim
67600 KINTZHEIM (+33)3 88 92 84 33

Donkeys Wearing Trousers

The donkeys on l'île de Ré in coastal France used to wear trousers for practical reasons: to keep the mosquitos and sea salt off their legs.
Now les ânes en culotte is bringing back the fashion and, they hope, the donkey, whose presence is dwindling.


Mercantour National Park has wolves (Le loup), ibex, marmots, wild sheep (le mouflons), chamois, rabbits, fox (Le renard) and Red Deer (Le Cerf). Many species have been reintroduced here. The Chamois lately are catching a nasty eye infection.

Vulture Lookout - France
The Vulture Lookout (Le Belvédère des vautours) gives you a great vantage point to see vultures soar in gorges over a river. If you're lucky you may also see the beavers, otters and herons that live there, too. A museum explains how vultures were almost wiped out and the work to bring them back. There are also plenty of birding tours in the area.
 48150 Saint Pierre des Tripiers, Lozère - France
33 5 65 62 69 69
seal or sea lion

Wadden Sea Seals

Seals calve in the Wadden sea in June and July. About 6,00 seals live in Saxony's Wadden Sea and another 16,000 in the North Sea.
The seal station takes in seal pups separated from their mothers and has boat tours to see the wild seals.
Seehundstation Friedrichskoog An der Seeschleuse 4 25718 Friedrichskoog, Germany 04854 1372

Berlin Bats

Bats have been hanging out near the Spandau Citadel in Berlin for centuries.

049 30 3675 00 61 13599 Berlin, Germany


Alternative Bear Park

The Alternative Bear Park outside Worbis, Germany, is where abused and neglected bears get to live out their life in semi-natural surroundings. The park was once a horrible, squalid zoo where bears would be bred to produce cute cubs, then eaten. Real animal caretakers took over in the mid-90s. Now it's an educational center, too.
Duderstädter Straße 36, 37339 Leinefelde, Germany

Hamburg Swans

Every year for centuries Hamburg moves its 120-some swans to a nice winter pond where they keep the ice from freezing.You can also rent a duck or swan boat to go out on the pond and river in nice weather. In summer you can see the swans all around Hamburg.


Species Protection Center

Artenschutzzentrum Thüringen lets you see native animals and fish. They have a special project with wisent (European bison) with a small pasture with 3 animals that they hope to expand.
Am Preissnitzberg 5, 07389 Ranis, Germany



Bumlinger Mill

Blumberger Mill (Blumberger Mühle) is part of an extensive network of wildlife facilities run by NABU (Federal Nature Conservation Germany). The big attraction here are the beaver ponds. The site also has the biggest facility for European pond turtles in the country.
Bonus species: eagles and frogs
20 Hauptstraße 38542 Leiferde, Germany


Guest House with Squirrels

The To Post Guesthouse (Zur Post Gasthof) has a large squirrel facility out back with five species of squirrels, including the cute, red European kind with the giant tufts of hair on its ears. Roland Jr. Haase has been breeding them for 20 years.
Rathausweg 5, 93470 Lohberg

Mannheim Luisenpark

Luisenpark has the biggest colony of white storks of any city in Germany: 900 birds and 30 breeding pairs. They nest throughout this park and can also be seen on the stork webcam. The park was started as something of a private zoo in 1892, destroyed in the war and reopened as a mix of park and zoo in 1958. The park has an eclectic mix of animals, including penguins, otter, owl, mongoose (zebramanguste) and flamingos.
5 €, Theodor-Heuss-Anlage 2, 68165 Mannheim, Germany




Wildpark Saarbrucken
The Saarbrucken Wildpark is a fun mix of native wild animals like wild boar, fallow deer, red deer and wisent, along with some domestic species like goats. The wisent (Bison bonsasus a smaller, endangered European version of the bison) are breeding and there are young ones.
Die Wildpark in Saarbrucken started in 1929 and was recently updated. It's free, you can feed the animals or just go for a long walk in the pleasant woods.
Germans tend to think of wildparks as for kids, but Americans will be fascinated.
Stuhlsatzenhausweg 49, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany



Neanderthal Wildpark

The Neanderthal Wildpark (Wildhedge Neandertal) recreates the landscape that neanderthal humans would have experienced in Europe 30.000 years ago.

Wisent (bison), tarpan (wild horse) and auroch (primitive cattle) roam.
The tarpan is the original wild horse that they've tried to breed backwards using Przwalski horses with Icelandic ponies and Swedish Gotlands.
About 20 of the 200 existing auroch or Heck cattle live here.
0049 - 2104 - 139 155, Thekhauser Quall, 40699 Erkrath, Germany  

Freisen Wildpark - Germany

Freisen Wildpark in Saarland has shows of eagles and hawks, a couple moose and other native animals. They're closed in the winter for hibernation. Fam. Broszeit
66629 Freisen, Tel.: (0 68 55) 63 65 und 99 64 63



Werner Freund has been studyingand breeding wolves in Saarland for 30 years. You can visit his Wolfspark, right outside Merzig on days that he is open and see wolves from around the world.
Directions Waldstraße, Merzig, Germany


konik horse

Wildpark Schorfheide

Wildpark Schorfheide is one of the few that have moose, which are known as European elk or elch. They also have Przewalski’s Horse, Koniks, heck cattle (auloch) and red and fallow deer and wild boar.  € 3.50, Prenzlauer Straße 16, 16244 Schorfheide, Germany  



Octalis World of Bats

Octalis World of Bats hopes to instill sympathy and understanding for bats by letting people see them up close in a 4-story facility and limestone bat cave.
Closed in winter for hibernation.
Oberbergstraße 27, 23795 Bad Segeberg, Germany

Esel Park

The Esel Park or Donkey Farm in Blekendorf, Germany, lets you see and ride the donkeys raised and bred here by the August family since 1973.
Wiesengrund 3, 24327 Blekendorf, Germany




The Nature and Environement Park (NUB - Natur- und Umweltpark) in Gustrow has a 3-acre pen for two black bear brothers, a pack of 9 wolves (which you can see fed at night), and assorted native animals in large pens, including red squirrels, owls, raccoons and wild boar.
Güstrow) Verbindungschaussee 8, 18273 Güstrow, Germany


Seeg Camel Farm

At Kamelfarm Allgäu, you can look at the camels for €5 who live in Bavaria or even take them on a trek in the Alps for €55. The farm has about 50 camels and has been open since 2005, according to
Hack ,87637 Seeg 0 83 69-91 06 40




Crete, Greece

Greece is the main country with sea turtles in Europe and Rethymnon has most of them. Crete says that in a recent survey 385 nests were found on just 10 km of Rethymnon beach, about four to five times the density of Chania or Messara Bay. You can volunteer for the group Archelon here or in a turtle hospital in Athens.


Katelois, Greece

The only sea turtles found in Europe are in Greece and Cyprus, euroturtle says. Loggerheads nest in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus while Green Turtles are mostly in Turkey and Cyprus. Katelois is one of the big nesting areas; a foundation has set up and environmental center that has volunteers patrol the beaches. So far they just recommend onlookers stay off the beach at night.



Ionian Sea

A biologist leads an educational trip through Responsible Travel to study sperm whales and the giant squid they eat.

Season: May, September
Species Seen: sperm whales
Bonus species: giant squid; common, bottlenose and striped dolphin
seal or sea lion


Zakynthos, Greece, is the 6th Ionian Island, gets mentioned in The Odyessy and is home to the Mediterranean monk seal, the most endangered animal in Europe and the rarest marine mammal. Thanks to hunting and fishermen killing them there are only 350-500 left and their population is disconnected. Bonus species: loggerhead sea turtles.


blue whale


Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavík, Iceland, has so many whale watching boats you can pretty much turn up in the harbor to find one. They have 95% success. Some are fishermen when they aren't taking you out. Many are tiny boats, so be prepared for sea sickness.
Species Seen: minke, blue, humpback whales, sei, fin and killer whales
Bonus Species: Puffin, white-beaked dolphin, porpoise
Elding - Reykjavík Whale Watching

killer whale


Húsavík, Iceland

Húsavík, Iceland, considers itself the whale capitol of Europe.
The Húsavík Whale Museum is, predictably, pro-whaling. 
Gentle Giants Whale Watching
North Sailing
Species seen: Killer, Blue, Minke, Dolphin


Hornbjarg, Iceland

If Iceland itself weren't remote enough, go to its most difficult to reach part that reaches into the Arctic Circle, far away from the road that rings the country.

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is best reached by boat. The puffins here are friendly because this the only place in Iceland they're not hunted.
Bonus species: eider, arctic fox, seals

Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

Vestmannaeyjar, an island south of Iceland, is a puffin paradise. Every May puffins return here to mate and nest. Then in August the babies often get bedazzled by the city lights and fly into town, where the children of Heimaey make a practice of collecting them in boxes and rescuing them.
About 8-10 million Atlantic puffins live in Iceland, about half the world population.
You can also try cliffs of Látrabjarg on the mainland or the islands of Breiðafjörður and Lundey ( Puffin Island), which is just miles from Reykjavik. And if you go on a whale watch, you're likely to see them swimming. Icelanders regularly eat puffins--except those in Hornbjarg and in the Natural Reserve Park of Hornstrandir.

Italian Unicorn at Center for Natural Science
The Centro di Scienze Naturali (Center for Natural Science) outside Prato, Italy has a roe deer nicknamed Unicorn. Unicorn has a single stalk antler in the middle of his head.
Via di Galceti, 74, 59100 Prato PO, Italy


Majella National Park, Italy

Italy has Italian wolves (Canis lupus italicus) from nearly top to bottom, but just not that many of them. Majella National Park (Parco Nazionale Della Majella) is one place you might see them.
Some local guides offer tours to see wolves (in spring) and other wildlife, which includes chamois.
Parco Nazionale Della Majella 1, Piazza Alberto Duval, Campo Di Giove, AQ 0864 40 851



Near Amsterdam the Oostvaardersplassen is a nature park with roaming wild horses called Koniks and primitive cattle known as Heck Cattle.
On Flickr Astrid Van Wesenbeeck writes: "I particulairly love the small group of Konik horses that lives in the hiking area. You can approach them easily, sit between them and if you pretend to ignore them, they will ignore you and do all the things wild horses do"

Koniks of Arnhem, Netherlands
Europe has wild horses, too. In The Netherlands, these half wild horses are called 'Koniks' and live in nature reserves near rivers, reports Martin Werker. live in cattles in nature reserves, often in the fore-lands of rivers.

Ennenbourg Estate

The Ennemborg Estate has a herd of about 40 Koniks on 170 hectares. They are doing so well that they continually donate the primitive horses to other parks throughout Europe. Harry Harms documents their antics, including eating the bark off trees when hungry.


Lauwersmeer National Park

Lauwersmeer National Park started in 1969 when a dike was built between a lake and the sea on the Groningen-Frisian border.
Gwendolen Tee has taken some incredible pictures of their koniks, and their bi-colored manes flowing, running along the shore.
Bonus species: traditional landrace cows, spoonbill, harrier


Rucava, Latvia

Rucava, Latvia, is working with ARK (an environmental group with a focus on changing landscapes) on anexperiment to let a herd of Koniks roam Latvia. After the fall of communism, many fields overgrew into forests; they needed grazing herds to keep a varied landscape.
ARK's Jan van der Veen acts as a tour guide and the group can set you up to stay with locals.



polar bear

Spitsbergen, Norway

Spitsbergen is halfway to the arctic circle from Tromsø, another Nordic city so far north you've never heard of it. Polar bears range outside the town on the Svalbard archipelago. There are regular flights from Oslo and plenty of cruises.
Whales seen: Beluga
Bonus Species: Polar Bear, Walrus

seal or sea lion

Andoy, Norway

This northern outpost of Norway, Andoy, has boat safaris to see seals and sperm whale and you'll also get to see the northern lights. The seal safari leaves from Stave and goes to the Ramsar wetlands reserve, where the environmental convention was signed. The Dolphin Fund says the seal safari is sometimes reckless.



Tysfjord, Norway
You can see killer whales from the land in Tysfjord, Norway, according to the Complete Whale-Watching Handbook. The orcas are here for the herring, which some have noticed is declining in recent years. The tours, which go out in winter and even offer snorkeling, are expensive, nearly $200.
Bialowieza Forest - Bison, Horses--Poland, Belarus
The ancient Bialowieza Forest is the only place where wild horses and bison managed to survive in Europe. Descendants of the Tarpans became the Koniks, seen in wildlife ranges across the continent.
One of the two subspecies of the European bison (bison bison bonasus) got help surviving: from the 16th century this has been some kind of reserve for hunting by Polish and Russian royalty. Only 17 bison survived WWII, all on the Polish side.
The forest now straddles the Poland-Belarus border, with a park on each side. You need a guide to visit the Polish side and the park offers rooms for about $50 a night.
Poland: Bialowieza National Park  Białowieskim Parku Narodowym
Belarus: Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Roztocze National Park - Konik Breeding Center
Poland's Roztocze National Park (Roztoczański Park Narodowy) has a breeding population of Koniks.
For centuries this area had been the zoo-like Zamoyski Estate, but it fell apart and the animals were set free in the 1800s. It was first reopened as a nature preserve in 1934 and grew into a national park.
 When the European native horse the Tarpan went extinct, Tadeusz Vetulani basically brought it back through selective breeding of hybrids in Poland.
Education and Museum Centre of the Roztocze National Park
ul. Pla¿owa 3, 22-470 Zwierzyniec, (084) 687 22 86

konik Sieraków, Poland
A large number of private and government farms raise Konik horses around Sieraków, Poland. This is where the primitive Tarpan horses were first distributed to peasants, who cross-bred them with other horses. Later they were collected to recreate the species at abreeding center that's been around for 180 years.
The agriculture department says Polish konik is bred in Sieraków, Dobrzyniewo and Tulce (Kobylniki), where the total of 90 mares are held.



Azores, Portugal
Sperm whales are the big attraction in the Azores. Boats leave from São Miguel and other islands.
Species seen: sperm, pilot, killer and Sowerby's beaked whales
Bonus Species: Risso, Atlantic Spotted and Striped dolphins
Responsible Travel Package

Carpathian Mountains, Romania

Europe's biggest wolf population lives in Romania. About 3,000 wolves live in the Carpathian Mountains, according to the NWF.
Responsible Travel offers a trip by locals through to see wolves, lynx and bear. You may also find them--or at least hear them at night--in Piatra Craiului National Park (Parcul Naţional Piatra Craiulu)


Moscow Losiny Ostrov "Elk Island" National Park

Losiny Ostrov "Elk Island" National Park (Национальный парк "Лосиный Остров") in Moscow was named after European elk (moose) and also has red deer (elk), the Moscow News reports.
Bonus species: wild boar, red squirrel (especially in Tsaritsyno near Orekhovo metro station where dogs are banned. Also try Kuzminki, Izmailovsky and Pokrovsko-Streshnevo parks) and beaver (the marsh area near Mytischi)


Kostroma Moose Farm

The Kostroma Moose Farm (ЛОСИНАЯ ФЕРМА) is trying to prove that moose can thrive as domestic animals--as long as they are allowed to roam free part of the year. Russians have been experimenting with using moose as military animals and livestock for ages. This farm started in 1963 and has had many missions and government bosses. The current purpose is quite gentle: the moose are milked, studied and let wander, tracked by GPS. Tourists can visit in the summer, when they aren't a danger to vulnerable calves. Guided tours are about $5. (+7 4942) 35 94 33 It's less than 200 miles from Moscow.



Vlodni Island, Russia

100 wild horses live on a 12km -long island called Vodny (or Vodnii  or Водный) in the Ostrovnoy section of the zapovednik of Lake Manych-Gudilo. 
he island is part of the Rostovsky Zapovednik Nature Preserve, in the Rostov Province.
Local farmers used to let their horses roam onto what used to be a peninsula. After a 1953 dam it became an island. The farmers kept retrieving their horses, but the horses kept going back to their island paradise. These are Don horses (Equus caballus).
The island is a big migratory bird route.
Bonus species: Rare Eastern white pelicans (Pelecanus crispus)
Dalmatian pelicans (P. onocrotalus) endangered Demoiselle cranes (Anthropoides virgo) 


Solovetsky Island, Russia

Solovetsky Island, near Finland, may be the best place in the world to see beluga whales. These are the white whales that seem to grin and live mainly in the arctic. They visit the White Sea in summer. The Karelian area also has old gulags.

Solovecké ostrovy
Gibraltar Monkeys - Apes' Den
Gibraltar has 230 apes (really Barbary macaque monkeys, (Macaca Sylvanus) and no one really knows how they got there. Did British sailors bring them over? Did they crawl through a tunnel from Africa?
They are the top tourist draw for Gibraltar and live in 6 groups. The most popular is the friendly Queen's Gate bunch that lives near Ape's Den.
The British took care of them, with Winston Churchill restocking the dwindling (just 7) population after WWII. They believed that the UK would rule Gibraltar as long as the monkeys lived there.
Now the Gibraltar Orrnithological and Natural History Society (GONHS) provides them with food, water and medical care.
This group of monkeys is why you can find macques at parks that feature only native animals thorughout Europe.


Doñana National Park - Iberian Lynx

Doñana National Park (Parque Nacional de Doñana) in southern Spain is one of the last hold-outs of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardina), the most endangered wild cat in the world. There are only 100-200 left. There are captive breeding facilities in Spain and just recently in Portugal, too. You probably won't be able to see one in the wild but Donata National Park is the big stronghold.
Feral camels once roamed here, but haven't been seen since the 70s.
Coto Doñana also gets migrating flamingoes and imperial eagles.
Park officials recommend various guides and trails to see much of the park.

Pyrénées National Park
The Pyrenees National Park is the last hold-out for many species that otherwise would've been wiped out in Europe. Right on the border with Spain, the park holds the last six Pyrenean bear (Oso (spanish) or L'ours). The Isard, (Pyrenean chamois) has recovered a bit. The Egyptian vulture visits in summer.
red squirrel
Barcelona Red Squirrels
The red squirrels of Palau Reial de Pedralbes Park in Barcelona are usually shy, writes Iberia Nature, but they come down from the trees in late afternoon.
Palau Reial de Pedralbes, Avinguda Diagonal 686, 08014 Barcelona, Spain



Tarifa, Spain - Whale & Dolphin Watching
Gibraltar gets all the glory, but Tarifa is really the southern land's end for Spain.
Tumares has boats that go into the Straight of Gibraltar to see
Calle del Alcalde Juan Núñez, 3
11380 Tarifa, Spain

Year-round Dolphins: Common, Striped, Bottlenose, Pilot Whale Orca (July - September)
Sperm whale (March - July)Fin whale  (May - July)
30 € Adults


Bergslagen Moose

Two hours from Stockholm, you can stay in Sweden's "most primitive hotel," kind of a bark hut for about $50. Sweden has the densest moose population in the world and this area, Bergslagen, has so many there's a moose guarantee.
Tours also offers to hear wolves and see lynx and beaver. The nighttime beaver canoe tour is one of the few worldwide.
in the 73030 Köping, Sweden

konik Gotland
The Swedish island of Gotland is home to the only native horse of Sweden, the Gotland pony or Russ. But as farmers divided up the land and sold the wild horses to work in mines on the continent, their population fell from 11,500 in 1886 to just 30 in 1930.
After protection and careful breeding (and winter feeding) the herd roams in the 600 hectacre Lojsta moor. 
Bonus species: Gute sheep


The falconry program in Galina lets you not only see a golden eagle or hawk doing acrobatics, but also to try your own hand at falconry by going for a walk with one after a lesson from falconer Norman Vögeli.
Falknerei Galina Susanne + Norman Vögeli, FL-9497 Malbun-Triesenberg, Tel. 00423 263 3424



Wildpark Zurich

Zurich decided in 2008 to support two public wildparks. Langenberg has farm and native animals, including 3 kinds of deer, wild boar, wild horses. Sihlwald has beaver and otter.
Albisstrasse 4, 8135 Langnau am Albis, Switzerland



Wildpark Roggenhausenweg

Wildpark Roggenhausen is run by the local community who want to enjoy the local woods and animals. They have red, fallow and axis deer, pine martens,
moulfon, marmots and wild boar.
Roggenhausenweg, 5000 Aarau



Askania-Nova Nature Center
Askania-Nova Nature Center has the biggest population of Przewalski's Horse in the world. German settler Friedrich Falz-Fein turned his estate into an animal reserve in 1887 and named it New Germany. He imported lots of exotic animals like gazelles, camels and wild horses, Ukranians say. It got the first Przewalski horses in Europe and bred them for 40 years. The herd was wiped out in WWI, but the line survived in a German zoo.
Askania-Nova is now a zoo, botanical garden and Unesco world heritage site formally called the Institute of Steppe Animal Farming Askania-Nova. The wild horse run on 30 sq km by the Chapelsky Pod area. 
Bonus species: Bison, Saiga, eagles, zebra
(Ukrainian: Асканія-Нова; Russian: Аскания-Нова meaning New Germany



Birding Hotspots Around the World EuroBirdNet Italia BirdLife International
Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (Bird Protection, France)    







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