26 50








% Protected

Centuries of intense farming, overhunting, warfare, and industrialization have taken a toll on France’s nature. This has not deterred French conservationists from pioneering new solutions to rewild the French landscape. Bold new efforts to reintroduce species extinct in France for thousands of years are taking root in France’s alpine areas.

Orlu, France. Photo by Gregoire Bertaud.

France's Ecology

Few people associate France with bison, yet before the industrial era European bison, taller and slimmer than their American cousin, roamed the fields and forests of France along with wolves, bears, and the Przewalkski horse. Bold conservation efforts have kept these species from teetering over the brink of extinction, and new rewilding initiatives in France and other parts of Europe are carefully reintroducing these species to pockets of landscape. Establishing wilderness corridors that encourage migration will be key for their continued survival. 

Half (Mission Achieved)

Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.

Can Reach Half

Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.

Could Be Restored

Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.


Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.


Rewilding Europe

Making Europe a wilder place, with more space for wild nature, wildlife and natural processes, and exploring new ways for people to enjoy and earn a fair living from the wild.

Learn More
The Nature Needs Half movement is only as strong as its member organizations. Discover more about the individuals and organizations who have committed to protecting 50% of the planet by 2050.
Become a Member


Sparring European bison. Photo by Valene Aure.
Réserve Des Monts D’Azur

In this private reserve, the first of its kind in Europe, animals are privileged actors. Here, creatures extinct in Europe for decades and centuries roam the land freely.

France Hauts de Villaroger National Nature Reserve
Hauts de Villaroger National Nature Reserve

This mountain reserve provides a forested home for rare species including the black grouse and the dense undergrowth upon which it depends for shelter. 

France Cerisy Forest
Cerisy Forest

Cerisy was established to protect a rare subspecies of golden beetle. It also harbors stag, boars, badgers, foxes, long-eared owls, and adders.

Related News

Animals and Wildlife Found in the French Alps
All Articles
Read More +
France to let wolf population grow by 40% despite anger from farmers
All Articles
Read More +