Which animals can you spot along France’s canals?

A Locaboat holiday means relaxation, but it can also mean new experiences: new food, culture, music… and the natural world. As you glide along the canals, you can renew your acquaintance with creatures of all kinds, from the most common to the most rare.

Along the Canal du Midi, you’ll find many species of fish, such as pike and perch, but you can also see coypu and muskrats, which like to make their burrows along its banks. And that’s not all: there are turtles, moorhens, mallards, swans, swallows, wagtails and herons coming to the water to cool off and drink. You might also come across a roller: a squat, brightly-coloured bird with a large head and a black, down-curved bill. You might also hear its harsh cry from its nest in the plane trees.

There are also plenty of animals to be seen from the Nivernais and Burgundy Canals. On the plains you’ll see cattle and horses, of course, but if you keep a careful eye out you can also spot all kinds of amphibians: toads, frogs, newts… There are also some beautiful insects, such as the graceful dragonfly. If you’re really lucky and look up at the sky from time to time, you might catch a glimpse of a black stork in majestic flight.

On the Nantes-Brest Canal you may come across otters and red squirrels, the occasional wild boar, herons, bats and humble little hedgehogs.

Around the Canal de l’Est/Canal des Vosges, the forests are home to red deer, roe deer and wild boar, but you might also see hares, foxes and lots of partridges. The lakes and ponds in the departments of Moselle and Meuse provide a refuge for many species, including the beaver, which was reintroduced in 1983. So, off you go and don’t forget your binoculars!

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