Nature in Austria
According to COUNTRYAAH, Austria is a country located in Western Europe. The Alps take up a large part of Austria (63 percent). The flora and fauna here is therefore alpine. With the Alpine foothills and flat plains such as the Vienna Basin, Austria also has completely different landscapes to offer with a nature all of its own.
Six national parks and numerous nature parks have been established to protect the country’s nature and biodiversity. 748 species of plants and animals are endemic, so they only occur in Austria.
Which animals live in Austria?
The typical animals of this mountain world such as chamois, marmots and ibex live in the Alps. Snow mice, mountain hares and also the ptarmigan replace their brown fur or plumage in winter with a white camouflage color. Typical birds are alpine choughs, golden eagles and pine jays. Many species of birds breed in the Alps, but fly south in winter. The alpine salamander is colored black. He is strictly protected.
Lynx, brown bears and bald ibises were extinct, but reintroduction programs have brought these species back to life. Animals such as roe deer, deer, rabbits, foxes, badgers and martens live in the lower elevations. They belong to the typical animal world of Central Europe. The Neusiedlersee is a bird paradise. Herons, spoonbills, avocets and wild geese cavort in its reed belt.
What is growing in Austria?
When it comes to plants, too, a distinction must be made between those that grow in the Alps and those in the plains. There are also very different altitudes within the Alps. The tree line is at 1400 to 2000 meters and therefore has a wide range. About half of Austria is covered by forest.
Below the tree line you can find oaks, red beeches, spruces, pines and larches. Holm oaks and chestnuts also grow on the southern edge of the Alps. At the tree line, the trees gradually turn into shrubs. Mountain pines and green alders are at most head-high.
If you go even higher, there are only grasses such as crooked sedges and bristle grass. Flowers like the alpine bell can also be found here. From an altitude of 3000 meters you can only find lichens and some flowering plants such as saxifrage.
The most typical Austrian plant is the edelweiss. But bell gentians and auricles are also national symbols of the country. All three grow in the Alps.
Plants in Austria
Typical plants in Austria
Do you know plants from Austria? The first thing that comes to mind is the edelweiss. Edelweiss grows in the Alps. The white species are best known. The white bracts form a star, which makes the plant look particularly pretty. Edelweiss is one of the endangered species. However, it was placed under nature protection in Austria as early as 1886. Even then, hikers began to pick the beautiful flower, which threatened its survival. Today in Austria it is only on the red list in Carinthia.
Edelweiss is used as a symbol in several ways. On the one hand, it is considered a symbol of the Austrian Empress Sissi. A painting from 1865 shows her with nine edelweiss stars braided into her hair. Edelweiss is also a symbol of courage, love, loyalty and community. Because Emperor Franz Joseph I is said to have picked an edelweiss plant for Sissi. After all, it became a symbol for mountaineers in the Alps in the 19th century. Many alpine clubs included the edelweiss in their logo.
“Blue blossoms the gentian” is a well-known song. The blue flower color is actually very intense and eye-catching. The flower sits on a short stem and looks like a bell. Gentian is a typical alpine flower. You can find a picture of her in the slideshow above!
Actual Austria mullein
Despite its name, the real Austria mullein grows not only in Austria, but also in Switzerland and Eastern Europe. But it is also considered a typical Austrian plant. Unlike the edelweiss, it grows in flatter areas such as the lowlands. Above all, it has to be warm and dry so that she feels comfortable. It grows to over half a meter and blooms from July to October. You can also find a picture of her in the slideshow above!