Wildlife spotting in Limburg

Red deer in the mist at NP de Groote Peel

Top 5 wildlife in Limburg

In Limburg you can walk through nature for hours. In one nature area you walk over plateaus along streams while in another area you walk over the heathland on your way to a forest path through the dense coniferous forest. There is a great diversity of landscapes to be found here. These nature reserves are home to an incredible number of animals. If you go for a walk at the right time and are quiet it is even possible to spot these animals in the wild. Put your phone on silent, do not wear clothing in bright colors and be patient. Who knows, you might see a wild boar or a deer. Are you going to spot wildlife? Do not leave the forest paths and do not disturb the animals.

The red deer

The red deer is the largest land-living mammal in the Netherlands. The males have impressive antlers which they shed at the end of winter each year. In summer, red deer have a reddish-brown coat while in winter it is gray-brown. Red deer are mainly found in Grenspark Kempen~Broek and National Park De Groote Peel. 

Male red deer with impressive antlers

The fox

The chance of spotting a fox during your walk is not very big. The fox is very shy and hardly ever shows itself during the day. It takes a lot of patience and luck to spot a fox. The fox is related to the dog and although its long fur and thick bushy tail make it look rather large, it is actually not much bigger than a big cat.

Fox looks straight into the camera

The wild boar

The wild boar is a wild ancestor of our pig. They also look very similar. Characteristic of wild boar is its rough, brown-gray coat. Wild boars often go out at night, but by the tracks they leave behind you can easily see where they have been. Uprooted pieces of ground betray the presence of wild boar. With their flat snouts they churn up the earth in their search for food. You can find wild boars everywhere in Limburg, but in Nationaal Park de Meinweg there is a very large wild boar population.

Mama wild boar and 2 piglets

The buzzard

The buzzard is one of the largest birds of prey in the Netherlands and can be found almost anywhere in Limburg. If you know where to look. If they are in a tree, they are usually not so good to see because of their camouflage colors. But they also often sit on poles in meadows because open fields are the hunting ground for the buzzard. A buzzard in the air is easily recognized by the circling motion they make. The silhouette of a flying buzzard is characterized by the long, broad wings and by the relatively short but broad tail.

Buzzard sitting on a branch

The Beaver

The beaver is the largest rodent in Europe and can now be found again throughout Limburg. After being extinct in the Netherlands, the beavers were released in the 1980s and since then the beaver has been doing very well in the Netherlands. Because beavers are often in their lodges, they are not always very visible. But the beaver's gnawing is easy to spot. Gnawing marks and even whole trees that have been gnawed through adorn the banks of many a small river in Limburg.

Beaver in the water

Of course there are many more animals to be found in Limburg. Keep your eyes and ears open as you walk through nature and who knows, you might spot a roe deer, a badger or one of the other unique animal species that live in Limburg. In winter, especially in the snow, you can find many traces of animals living in the forest. Look on the internet how the tracks of different animals look like and find out which animals have crossed your path. 

(Sources: www.zoogdiervereniging.nl & www.onzenatuur.be)