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10 Incredible Wild Animals in Austria

Located in central Europe, Austria is a landlocked country that shares borders with Switzerland to the west, Italy to the south, the Czech Republic to the north, and Hungary to the east. 

Remarkably, Austria boasts an array of natural wonders and diverse wildlife, sure to captivate any wildlife enthusiast. The country is home to an impressive variety of animals, from magnificent brown bears and elusive wildcats to charming marmots.

Below are ten of Austria’s amazing wild animals.

1. Eurasian Lynx

Animals in Austria - Eurasian Lynx
  • Scientific name: Lynx lynx
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Northern and eastern parts, including the Bohemian Forest, the Alps, and the Vienna Woods.
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The Eurasian lynx is the largest species of lynx. These wild cats are solitary creatures and are recognized for their striking, dark-spotted fur, which ranges in color from greyish-brown to yellowish-grey. They also have distinctive, large, tufted ears.

With impressive hunting skills, the Eurasian lynx preys on wild-hoofed mammals, such as deer, and may resort to consuming smaller animals when food is scarce. Due to their shy nature, they primarily hunt during dawn and dusk. Visitors to areas where they reside must be patient and fortunate to catch a glimpse of one in the wild.

★ Did you know? The Eurasian lynx has a relatively long lifespan compared to other wild cat species. In the wild, they can survive up to 17 years, while captive Eurasian lynx have been documented to live for up to 24 years. However, their life expectancy can vary depending on various factors such as habitat quality, food availability, and disease prevalence.

2. Eurasian Brown Bear

Animals in Austria - Eurasian Brown Bear
  • Scientific name: Ursus arctos arctos
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Northern and eastern parts, including the Bohemian Forest, the Alps, and the Carpathian Mountains.
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Also known as the common bear, the Eurasian brown bear is a furry mammal native to Europe, with a small population inhabiting Austria. These magnificent creatures can weigh up to 360 kg (800 pounds) and typically feed on a diet of plant roots, berries, small mammals, and fish.

The Eurasian brown bear is undoubtedly a highlight for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Austria, but sightings can be infrequent unless on a guided wildlife tour. These shaggy-haired animals are truly impressive and a rare sight to behold.

★ Did you know? When standing upright, the Eurasian brown bear can reach a height of up to 2.2 meters (7.2 feet). This is an impressive height for a mammal and allows the Eurasian brown bear to have a commanding view of its surroundings, which is beneficial for both hunting and avoiding potential threats.

3. Golden Eagle

Animals in Austria - Golden Eagle
  • Scientific name: Aquila chrysaetos
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found in the country: Alpine mountain ranges and other high-altitude habitats, such as the Hohe Tauern National Park and the Nockberge Biosphere Reserve.
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The golden eagle is a magnificent bird of prey that soars over high mountain ranges, boasting an impressive wingspan of about 72 to 86 inches. They rely on their high speed, agility, powerful feet, and sharp talons to capture their prey. These eagles are skilled hunters, primarily preying on marmots, rabbits, hares, and ground squirrels.

Golden eagles are renowned for their incredible eyesight and can often be observed gracefully soaring in the skies above. These birds are truly impressive and a wonder to behold for anyone lucky to witness them in their natural habitat.

★ Did you know? The golden eagle is one of the fastest birds in the world and can reach speeds of up to 150 miles per hour (240 kilometers per hour) when diving to catch prey.

4. Red Deer

Animals in Austria - Red Deer
  • Scientific name: Cervus elaphus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Forested regions in Austria
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The red deer is one of Austria’s majestic animals. Their stunning appearance makes them a sight to behold in their natural habitat. The males, also known as stags or harts, have impressive antlers growing up to one meter long and are shed and regrown yearly.

Red deer are herbivores known to be ruminants with a four-chambered stomach. They inhabit various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and mountains.

★ Did you know? Male red deer can produce a deep, bellowing roar during the mating season, known as the rut. This call can be heard over long distances and is used to establish dominance and attract females.

5. Marmot

Animals in Austria - Marmot
  • Scientific name: Marmota marmota
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Alpine meadows of Austria
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The Alpine marmot is a type of large, ground-dwelling squirrel belonging to the genus of marmots. These animals typically range in size from 43 to 73 cm (17-29 in) in head-and-body length, with a tail length of 13 to 20 cm (5-8 in). Their body weight ranges from 1.9 to 8 kg (4.2-17.6 lb), with their weight being significantly lower in the spring, just after hibernation, and higher in the autumn, just before hibernation.

While some other marmot species have a similar weight range, the alpine marmot is sometimes considered the heaviest squirrel species, although it is unclear exactly which is the largest. Their coat is typically a blend of blonde, reddish, and dark gray fur, and they have claws on most of their fingers and nails on their thumbs.

★ Did you know? The Alpine marmot is sometimes called a whistle pig due to the high-pitched whistle sound they make when alerting their group from danger or other threats.

6. Chamois

Animals in Austria - Chamois
  • Scientific name: Rupicapra rupicapra
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: High peaks of the Austrian Alps
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The chamois is a species of mountain goat native to the European mountains, including the European Alps, the Tatra Mountain, and the Balkans. They are medium-sized bovids with a maximum height of 70-80 cm.

The chamois typically inhabit alpine and sub-alpine meadows and feed on various vegetation, including herbs, grasses, conifers, and certain parts of trees. They are known to survive in the wild for up to 17 years.

★ Did you know? When they sense danger, chamois stamp their feet and produce a whistling sound, then flees and hide in the most inaccessible places.

7. Alpine Ibex

Animals in Austria - Alpine Ibex
  • Scientific name: Capra ibex
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Mountainous regions of the Austrian Alps, particularly in Hohe Tauern National Park, the Kalkalpen National Park, and the Nockberge Biosphere Reserve.
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The Alpine ibex, also known as Steinbock, is a species of wild mountain goat that is found in the European Alps and surrounding areas. They are known for their distinctive long horns, which curve backward and can grow up to 1 meter in length.

Alpine ibex are well adapted to mountain life, with strong legs and hooves that allow them to climb steep and rocky terrain. They live in herds, with males forming their own groups and females and young forming separate groups.

★ Did you know? The Alpine ibex has distinctive long horns that can grow up to 140cm over their lifetime. Both male and female ibexes have horns, although the males’ horns are typically larger and thicker.

8. European Bison

Animals in Austria - European Bison
  • Scientific name: Bison bonasus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Kalkalpen National Park in Upper Austria, the Thayatal National Park in Lower Austria, and the Wildnisgebiet Dürrenstein nature reserve in Lower Austria.
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened

The Fitzroy River turtle, also known as the Bell’s Turtle, is a freshwater turtle endemic to Australia. It is found only in the Fitzroy River system in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The European Bison, also known as the Wisent, is the largest wild land animal in Europe. These animals are characterized by their thick coats with a golden-brown tone and a dense mane covering the forehead, hump, and part of the neck. They are typically found in open grasslands, as they are naturally inclined to live in herds.

★ Did you know? The European bison was extinct in Austria for a long time. Reintroduction efforts have been ongoing for several decades now, and the species is slowly making a comeback in the country.

9. Peregrine Falcon

Animals in Austria - Peregrine Falcon
  • Scientific name: Falco peregrinus
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found in the country: Mountainous areas of the Austrian Alps
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Peregrine falcons are widely recognized as the world’s most powerful and fast-flying predatory birds. They are capable of reaching speeds up to 320 km/h (200 mph) when pursuing prey, and they primarily hunt small to medium-sized birds.

These birds can be found in various habitats around the globe and are easily recognizable due to their distinctive features, including a black head, blue-grey back, and striped white underside.

★ Did you know? The peregrine falcons are sexually dimorphic. Females are typically larger than males.

10. Wild Boar

Animals in Austria - Wild Boar
  • Scientific name: Sus scrofa
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Vienna Woods, the Wienerwald, and the Northern Limestone Alps. They prefer habitats with dense vegetation and forest cover.
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The wild boar, also known as the wild swine, is a large omnivorous mammal with impressive grey-brown fur and notable tusks.

They typically inhabit woodland and forest areas and have a varied diet that includes a wide range of plants, small mammals, birds, and invertebrates. Wild boars are a fascinating sight to observe in their natural habitat.

★ Did you know? Wild boars were one of the first animals to be domesticated by humans, and this process began about 9,000 years ago in Europe and Asia.

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