Weather and Climate
Austria is located in a temperate climatic zone with a Central European climate influenced by the Atlantic climate. The four seasons all have typical temperatures and climatic characters.
Due to the topographical diversity of Austria and the relatively large West-East expanse, there are three differentiating climatic regions
- East: Pannonian climate with a continental influence – low precipitation, hot summers, but only moderately cold winters.
- Alpine Regions: Alpine climate - high precipitation (except inner alpine valley regions such as the Upper Inntal), short summers, long winters.
- Remainder of the Country: Transient climate influenced by the Atlantic (in the West) and a continental influence in the South-East.
Fauna and Flora
Austria's topographic diversity accounts for a great variety of wildlife, including endemic species that are under preservation. It has a predominantly Central European fauna and is one of Europe's most heavily wooded countries.
There is a predominantly Central European fauna
in Austria with species that include deer, stag, rabbit, pheasant, fox, badger, marten and partridge. Native to the alpine regions are the chamois, groundhog, eagle and mountain jackdaw. Characteristic of the Pannonian fauna is the vast bird population in the reed beds of the Neusiedler See
such as heron, spoonbill, scooper, wild goose and many more.
In recent years, Austria has become home again to a small bear population
, which can mainly be found in the heavily wooded southern and central mountainous regions.
The diversity of topographical and climatic conditions accounts for the country's species-rich flora. Austria is one of Europe's most heavily wooded countries
Characteristic are the deciduous forest (oak, beech) and the mixed forest (beech, fir) and in the higher altitude regions fir, larch and pine.
Especially diverse and colorful is the alpine flora
which includes the edelweiss, gentian, alpine carnation, arnica, alpine rose, heather and much more.
The northern edge of the Alps is especially dominated by grassland. Typical in the Pannonian region are the scrub forest, mixed deciduous forest and the steppe moors. East of Lake Neusiedl one finds a specific salt steppe flora
Austria's national parks
that stretch across 3 percent of the country
document the diversity of the landscape with its in part unique natural landscapes, such as the rain and virgin forests.