Crisscrossed by mountains, forests, rivers, and marshes, Germany's diverse landscape is home to an equally diverse group of plants and animals. While some, such as the migrating sturgeon in the River Inn, are in danger of extinction, other species—like the capercaillie—thrive.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Many plant and animal species call Germany home, and the country has a wealth of biologically diverse regions like The River Inn, The Black Forest, and the Alps.
The River Inn
On the river Inn, a tributary of the Danube, disruption of the river's flow has put several species of migratory fish in danger. According to the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, the migratory sturgeon and the Danube salmon are facing extinction. The white stork, the national bird of Germany—though endangered—appears in the region.
The Black Forest
The Black Forest forms a diverse habitat of grasslands and forests. Spruce and beech trees are common and are important habitats for mosses, lichen, insects, and birds. The largest member of the grouse family, the capercaillie, makes it's home in the southern parts of the Black Forest. Butterflies, like the niobe fritillary and the lesser marbled fritillary, are common to the Black Forest, as are dragonflies—such as the golden ringed dragonfly.
The German Alps
The Alpine region of Germany offers a diverse ecosystem, sporting many animals and plants. Some of the more well-known species of plants living there are edelweiss, alpenrose, and gentian. Among the animals that make the Alps their home are the chamoix, the ibex, and the golden eagle.
Mammals and Birds Found Throughout Germany
The beech marten, Natterer's bat, the Eurasian red squirrel, and the European rabbit are all common mammals found in Germany and throughout Europe. Aquatic mammals like the killer whale, Atlantic dolphin, and common porpoise are found on Germany's northern coast. Germany also has a large number of native birds. Among them are the common quail, bean goose, boreal owl, pied avocet, carrion crow and the mistle thrush.
Insects and Spiders Found Throughout Germany
Zebra spiders, marshweb spiders, crab spiders, and powling spiders are common throughout Germany and northwestern Europe. The admiral and Apollo butterflies are both native to Germany.
Common Plants in Germany
The cornflower, the national flower of Germany, grows wild in the country. Chamomile and greenspire are also common to the country. Common trees include the silver birch and the Norway spruce.
- International Committee for the Protection of the Danube River: Plants and Animals
- European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastorialism: Habitat Diversity
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Plant and Animal Life
- The Apline Protected Areas: Extraordinary Plant Life
- List of Countries of the World: German Animals
- University of Munchen: Rickettsia spp. in wild small mammals in Lower Bavaria, South-Eastern Germany.
- University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover: Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research (ITAW)
- Gill André/iStock/Getty Images