Our region is home to a rich biodiversity, and due to the great diversity of its landscapes, the fauna that inhabits it is a great challenge for animal lovers. Midi Libre brings you the ten largest wild mammals that inhabit Occitania, from the sea to the mountains. Be vigilant and don’t forget your binoculars on your next nature walk.
A climbing champion, you’ll have to look up to see him on the steep slopes of the Pyrenees or Aveyron. Chamois, a small hoofed animal, weighs an average of about forty kilograms and reaches 80 centimeters at the withers for men. Its population in Occitania is much smaller than in the Alpine regions. The chamois seems to be more rare here and is observed mainly in summer.
He spills ink wherever he is. Difficult to observe, but the presence of the wolf is nonetheless proven in Occitania, where there are currently eight permanent settlements, as evidenced by the French biodiversity office’s wolf and lynx observation network. european wolf can weigh almost 40 kgfor male specimens.
The star of the Herik Gorges, the mouflon is easy to see in the Karoo massif or in the Egual, where in spring it travels in herds with young. With rounded horns, these mammals, the ancestors of domestic sheep, can weigh fifty pounds.
We stop at horned species that love steep slopes. The Pyrenean ibex mostly lives in the Pyrenees. In a late 2020 article, France Bleu reports that there are currently 170 specimens in the region since its successful reintroduction in 2013. Impressive for a goat Capricorn can weigh up to 70 kg, and its horns can reach one meter. !
6. Wild boar
Perhaps the easiest wild boar to watch on the list lives in the forests and bushes of Occitania. Be careful on small roads in the summer at night, a collision with a wild boar can have serious consequences, because.an adult can reach a hundred kilograms. At this time, adults are sometimes accompanied by wild boars. Beautiful photos in perspective if you have patience and prudence.
The king of the forest, with its majestic trees that can reach almost a meter. Deer, which is easier to observe during the roar, which usually begins in mid-September, can weigh up to 200 pounds. A majestic animal that, during its breeding season, offers grandiose performances to the most diligent observers. Every year he loses his antlers, which grow back a little more the next season.
We are lucky in Occitania that this is the French region with the highest density of bears. To see it, head to the Pyrenees, home to 64 bears, according to the latest report from the brown bear network. A very impressive brown bear, standing on two hind legs, can reach from 1.70 to 2 meters and weigh up to 230 kg. for specimens from southern Europe, making it the largest land mammal in France.
What to do if you meet a bear?
If encounters are very rare, they can still occur on a hike. Whether you’ve caught a bear by surprise, found yourself near a female with cubs, or your dog has had a fight with a bear and approached you, here’s the attitude you need to adopt to limit the risk of an attack.
- Keep calm and don’t start screaming
- Speak softly or whistle to signal your presence and avoid surprise in the animal.
- Keep your dog close to you so the bear doesn’t run away.
- Move away slowly, without sudden movements.
Since the bear is the largest land mammal in France, now we have to jump into the water to finish this top 10 largest animal to watch in Occitania. The direction of the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, which are sometimes approached by different types of dolphins that inhabit the great azure. If you are lucky, you will be able to witness the acrobatic ballet of bottlenose dolphins, the most impressive species, from people who can weigh up to 650 kg.
2. sperm whale
It will be difficult to decide between the last two colossi of the seas, the sperm whale and the fin whale, the largest marine mammals in the Mediterranean. However, the sperm whale in our region is slightly smaller than in other parts of the world. However, according to cetaceans.org, it can reach 16 meters in length and weigh about thirty tons. Seen rather on the open sea, he is noticed thanks to his breath.
1. Fin whale
The sea mastodon, the second largest animal on earth, the minke whale also lives in the Mediterranean and therefore undoubtedly occupies the first place in our ranking. fin whale can reach twenty meters and 40 tons. You will also have to watch your breath in order to watch it, and the highlight of the show is watching the jump. To do this, you must be lucky, most of the time you see only his back, which already says a lot about the dimensions of the animal.