Wildlife of Germany

From iron curtain to green belt

When Germany was divided during the cold war, nature took control of the deserted border area. Today it forms a reserve as fascinating as the country’s recent history

European Wildlife: Bringing the Sturgeon Back to Germany

Biologists want to repopulate German rivers with sturgeon. A test batch of aquarium-raised fish has already been re-introduced and a school of fish will likely be released in the Oder River this autumn.

Biodiversity of Germany (Wikipedia)

Phytogeographically, Germany is shared between the Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. The territory of Germany can be subdivided into two ecoregions: European-Mediterranean montane mixed forests and Northeast-Atlantic shelf marine.[37] The majority of Germany is covered by either arable land (33%) or forestry and woodland (31%). Only 15% is covered by permanent pastures. Plants and animals are those generally common to middle Europe. Beeches, oaks, and other deciduous trees constitute one-third of the forests; conifers are increasing as a result of reforestation. Spruce and fir trees predominate in the upper mountains, while pine and larch are found in sandy soil. There are many species of ferns, flowers, fungi, and mosses. Fish abound in the rivers and the North Sea. Wild animals include deer, wild boar, mouflon, fox, badger, hare, and small numbers of beaver. Various migratory birds cross Germany in the spring and autumn.

Wildlife Locations In Germany

My experience is based on landscape photography rather than wildlife, but I hope it helps. Germany is so intensively cultivated that apart from pseudo-feral animals like deer and foxes I suspect you will have to travel some way from Duesseldorf to see anything significant. One of the strange contradictions with the former DDR is that although they made an unholy mess of the environment around various industrial towns, a lot of the countryside is in more ‘natural’ shape than the old West – where, for example, there were no imperial eagles at the time of the Wende. Of the places I visited while living in Berlin, the Spreewald, the Harz, the Elbesandsteingebirge and the Baltic coast at R|gen were all less tamed than anything I saw in the old West.

Further afield, there is a major bird migration point at Falsterbo, close to me here on the southern tip of Sweden. It’s better for watching than photographing, but many Germans bring cameras for the cranes going north in the spring or the large numbers of raptors heading south in the autumn. It’s doable in a car for a weekend from Duesseldorf, but the other Scandinavian migration hotspots on Gotland and Vland would need more travel time or an airplane journey.

There are alpine animals like marmots, chamois and ibex in the Kaisergebirge (and the rest of the alps), along with Lammergeier and other birds like choughs and snow buntings. Otters are making a comeback all over Europe, but they’ve more sense than to try and swim anywhere in the Ruhrgebiet. Wild boar are also increasing in number, and can be found in the Schwarzwald (along with ticks bearing nasty diseases) and in the Ardennes in Belgium.

Birds of Germany