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An undulating plateau covered with forest forms most of this park and with surrounding areas this forms the largest wooded area in central Europe. The forests are coniferous and mixed and a wide variety of tree species occur.
There are many wet valleys, streams and boggy areas within the park adding to the plant and animal diversity. At higher levels there are areas of bare moorland and there is a lake at the foot of Grosser Rachel, the park's highest peak at 1,453m.
The birdlife is rich and varied with typical central European forest birds such as Hazel Grouse, Northern Goshawk and Red-breasted Flycatcher occur. Owls are represented by Tengmalm's Owl and Eurasian Pygmy Owl and woodpeckers by Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker and Three-toed Woodpecker. In the 1970s-80s the Ural Owl was introduced to the park.
Birds you can see here include:
Grey Heron, Common Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, European Honey Buzzard, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Hazel Grouse, Western Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Grey Partridge, Common Quail, Common Pheasant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Northern Lapwing, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Stock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Tawny Owl, Ural Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Long-eared Owl, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Green Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Dipper, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Common Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Crested Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Northern Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Common Crossbill, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Yellowhammer
Red Deer Cervus elaphus and Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus are very common within the park as is Wild Boar Sus scrofa. Although Grey Wolf and Brown Bear are now extinct surviving carnivores include Pine Marten Martes martes, Beech Marten Martes foina, Badger Meles meles, Otter Lutra lutra, European wild cat Felis sylvestris, and Red Fox Vulpes vulpes.
Bats are common and include such species as Northern Bat Eptesicus nilssoni and Dubenton's Bat Myotis daubentoni and rodents include Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris, Northern Birch Mouse Sicista betulina and European Pine Vole Microtus subterraneus.
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Access to the park is unrestricted and there is an information centre at Neuschonau. The park has marked footpaths, nature trails and refuges within its area. The park is reached from Grafenau, 50km north of Passau in south-eastern Germany and lies on the Czech border.
Content and images originally posted by Steve