Flora and fauna of Germany

Flora of Germany

Before human colonization, the surface of today’s Germany was almost exclusively forested; the few non-forest habitats (apart from water bodies) included paramos, river meadows, and high mountain regions. Today, the natural vegetation is largely destroyed. Forests that have little to do with the original natural forests.

The flora of Germany comprises about 3,000 species of flowering plants and about 4,000 cryptogamic plants. However, the country does not form a single natural region and cannot be distinctively characterized by any of the main botanical types.

The largest forest proportions are found in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Approximately two thirds of the forest area is covered with spruce, pine and other conifers, and the rest with deciduous trees such as beech, birch and oak.

flora germany forest

The north is characterized by sandy regions and peat bogs, where there are herbaceous vegetation and shrubs. The high mountains also dominated by the prairie.

One of the negative and most striking points of German vegetation is the high anthropic intervention it has suffered. Agricultural spaces have transformed the entire useful agricultural area: they have formed canals, organized swamps and polders, dried up peat bogs and swamps, etc.

Throughout Germany, especially in industrial regions, acid rain presents itself as a serious problem for the life and survival of forests. It gives them a “burnt” appearance and their soils are contaminated with a much more acidic pH than usual, which has come to disqualify them for agriculture.

acid rain germany forest

Wildlife of germany

Germany is no longer home to large predators, though that doesn’t mean all wild animals are cute and cuddly. Here is a list of the animals of Germany.


The Alpine wild goat (ibex) is a species of ibex that lives in the mountains of the European Alps. Ibexes are strictly herbivorous, surviving on a diet of grass, moss, flowers, leaves, and twigs. If leaves and shoots are out of reach, ibexes will often stand on their hind legs to reach this food.

ibice wild goat alps


Most of the time hidden in the woods, you can come across one at night by driving through the woods. Like raccoons, they can be vicious.



The population of these birds of prey has been very well re-established and you will often see them sitting in trees along roadsides.

buzzard buzzard wildlife germany


Chamois is native to the mountains of Europe, including the Romanian Carpathians, the European Alps, the Tatras, the Balkans, parts of Turkey, and the Caucasus. Some chamois subspecies are strictly protected in the EU under the Habitats Directive.



Sadly these shy animals often end up as dead animals on the roads and paths. So you have to be very careful when driving through the woods, especially after dark.

European hamster

It is typically found on low-lying farmland with loamy soils, although it can also inhabit meadows, gardens, or hedgerows. The European hamster is found from Belgium (eg Bertem) and Alsace in the west, to Russia in the east, and Romania in the south.

european hamster


They are very shy animals, but at night they go out to cities and towns in search of food. Be careful, many foxes are carriers of diseases such as rabies and worms.

Gray dormouse

The gray dormouse is the largest of all dormouse, measuring between 14 and 19 centimeters long on the head and body, plus a 11 to 13 centimeter tail. It normally weighs 120 to 150 grams, but can almost double in weight immediately before hibernation.

gray dormouse

It has a generally squirrel-like body, with small ears, short legs, and large feet. Its fur is gray to greyish-brown over most of the body, with a clear line separating the white to pale underparts.

Unlike most other dormouse, there are no dark markings on the face apart from faint rings around the eyes. The tail is long and bushy, with hair slightly darker than that of the body.

Greylag goose

This species is found throughout Europe and Asia, apparently breeding where suitable localities are found in many European countries, although it no longer breeds in southwestern Europe. To the east it extends through Asia to China.

common goose

Common seal

Harbor seals are brown, tan, or gray, with distinctive V-shaped nostrils. An adult can reach a length of 1.85 meters and a mass of 132 kilograms. Females outlive males (30-35 years vs. 20-25 years).

Harbor seals stick to known roosting or crawling spots, usually rocky areas (although ice, sand, and mud can also be used) where they are protected from adverse weather conditions and predation, near a feeding area.

common seal

Males may fight over mates underwater and on land. Females are believed to mate with the strongest males and usually give birth to a single pup, which they care for alone.

Sea urchin

Hedgehog populations are finally slowly recovering. These cute animals are out most of the time at night, and you might even find one of them wandering around a garden.


It has made a good comeback in Germany too, thanks to natural habitats.


Real duck

The mallard, or mallard, probably the best known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a duck that breeds throughout temperate and subtropical America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia, with a male with a bright green head and a light brown female.

real duck

The mallard lives in wetlands, eats aquatic plants and is gregarious. It is also migratory. The mallard is the ancestor of all domestic ducks.


Groundhogs are generally large ground squirrels. Marmots usually live in mountainous areas like the Alps and live in burrows, where they hibernate during the winter.


Most groundhogs are very social and use loud whistles to communicate with each other, especially when alarmed. Groundhogs eat mainly vegetables and many types of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, roots, and flowers.


These animals are very common in Germany, but not very popular. You won’t normally see them, but you may hear them fighting at night, or you may find traces of them in your car.

marten animal

They love to sleep in the engine compartment of parked cars and don’t hesitate to chew on the insulation or a wire or two while they make themselves comfortable.


Although moles burrow, some species are semiaquatic. Moles have cylindrical bodies covered in fur, while the ears are usually not visible.


They have small or covered eyes and can probably distinguish between night and day, although they are otherwise blind. Moles eat small invertebrates that live underground. Moles can be found in most of North America, Asia, and Europe.


The mouflon has a reddish-brown short-haired coat with a dark rear stripe, a light-colored spot on the saddle, “socks,” and underparts. The males have horns; some females have horns while others lack horns.


The horn curves in almost a full turn (up to 85 cm). The mouflon has a shoulder height of about 0.9 meters and a body weight of 50 kg (males) and 35 kg (females), and was successfully introduced to continental Europe.


These semi-actuatic rodents are found along slow-moving rivers or lakes with marshy edges. They almost look like a cross between a beaver and a guinea pig.


Mute swan

Mute swans nest in large mounds built of riparian vegetation in shallow water on islands in the middle or on the very edge of a lake. Mute Swans are usually highly territorial, with a single pair in smaller lakes, although in places where a large area of ​​suitable feeding habitat is found, they may be colonial.

mute swan

Although this bird can be tamed, especially by those who feed it daily, it is aggressive in defending its nest, and its size and impressive whistle make it a formidable foe for animals as large as a fox.


Germany has a wide variety of different owls, sadly some of them have become quite rare.


Very common in Germany, they can be seen across the fields in Germany, it is also a very popular game bird.



Originally brought to Germany as pets, these animals have made a home in our forests.



In general, shrews are terrestrial creatures that feed on seeds, insects, nuts, worms, and a variety of other foods in leaf litter and dense vegetation, but some specialize in climbing trees, living underground, in the sublevel layer, or even hunt in the water.


They have small eyes and generally poor eyesight, but they have excellent senses of hearing and smell.


Thanks to the breading of habitats, storks are no longer close to extinction.


Wild pig

There are many wild boars in German forests, so many in fact that they are becoming a problem. With no natural enemies left, their population exploded. To the point that they come to the cities in search of food.

wild pig

Asp viper

This snake likes to call the sunny, dry slopes of the mountains its home. If the bite symptoms include swelling, rarely paralysis and dizziness and nausea. Fatal bites are extremely rare.

asp viper

Water spider

The only spider that lives underwater in Europe. It is quite rare, but its bite is comparable to a wasp sting.

water spider

Cheiracanthium (Yellow sac spider)

They reach a length of about 15 mm and can penetrate human skin; the bite is similar to a wasp sting, perhaps a little more severe, although susceptible people may have stronger reactions, such as nausea.

cheiracanthium yellow sac spider

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