Bavarian Forest
National Park

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lynx family (Photo: David & Micha Sheldon)

The fauna of the national park area reflects the geographic and the local particularities of the mountain ridge in the inner Bavarian Forest. On the one hand fauna of the Danube region and the Vltava / Elbe system converge on these continental watersheds (for example Danube salmon and salmon), on the other hand in the high mountain areas species adapted to the cold have survived, in isolated numbers, which as relics of the ice age – are today typical above all for the Alps, Fennoscandia or even Greenland (for example the Boreal owl, the three toed woodpecker, the Norwegian wolf spider).

At the same time potential for a wider range of species is clearly restricted by the acid bedrock and by high precipitation rates combined with relatively low annual average temperatures. The usual deep and long-lasting snow cover (affects above all predators such as the eagle-owl, wild cats, and large herbivores) and the highly acidic bodies of water, especially in bog areas (affects in particular freshwater insects, mussels, crabs, salamander, frogs, and fish) have a serious impact on the natural biodiversity.

Furthermore the comparatively species poor and uniform forest vegetation under a largely closed tree canopy limits animal biodiversity; it impacts particularly on insects that require sun and warmth (for example ants) as well as pollinating insects (bumble bees for example) and reptiles.

However the relative natural proximity of old areas of forest as well as the structural diversity and the wealth of deadwood in the developing “wilderness areas“ and the natural state of the raised bogs, rock surfaces and fields of rock make possible an above average biological diversity in the animal world.

In total 156 vertebrate and 3,693 invertebrate species have been registered to date. Statistical computations of the total number of species for the national park across all animal species lead to a figure of between 9,200 and 10,750 animal species.

Soil fauna have not been dealt with very much up until now. Research work is currently being undertaken.