Germany’s Wonderful Wildlife

April 3, 2019

 Germany’s Wonderful Wildlife

Germany provides a sprawling and diverse landscape which offers ideal habitats for a range of wildlife. From the mountains to the marshes, the rivers to the roads, there’s an abundance of wildlife to see when exploring Germany and we think the best way to do that is by car. Read on to find out more.

Rivers, lakes and streams

The Elbe Riverside is a sprawling landscape which runs through five states all the way to the North Sea and is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Follow the route by car to see a plethora of wildlife, from greylag geese, to otters and cranes. If you spot a yellow and black speckled frog, you won’t want to get too close. It’s a fire salamander and is highly poisonous!

Follow the river down to Lower Saxony to another UNESCO recognised environment, the Wadden Sea. This unique ecosystem in north Germany is characterised by coastal mudflats, saltmarshes and beaches, all with a range of wildlife.

 The great outdoors

Further south, in the middle of Germany sits Kellerwald-Edersee National Park. It offers almost 6,000 hectares of forest, meadows and lakes to enjoy and is home to many indigenous animals including wildcats, deer and owls.

Within the park you’ll also find European badgers. One of the cleanest animals, they keep their burrows nice and tidy by regularly replacing their bedding and building latrines. They are known by their black and white fur and can drastically fluctuate in size depending on the season. The average weight of a badger is 15 – 29 lbs but in preparation for hibernation they can weigh up to 37 lbs.

Nocturnal nature

Part of the same family as the badger, the European Pine Marten is often found in heavily wooded areas where they build their dens in hollow trees. Martens are fast runners both on the ground and up trees so you may need to be quick to see them. They mainly emerge at night where they hunt for their prey.

Other nocturnal animals you may find in the German countryside include the Greater Horseshoe Bat and the bicoloured shrew.

The Greater Horseshoe Bat is larger than other European bats, its size really makes it stand out. It also has the longest lifespan of any European bat with some living to an age of 30 years.

Another animal you might find when exploring on an evening is the nocturnal bicoloured shrew. The small mammal looks like a spike-less hedgehog and emerges at dusk to hunt insects.

Urban adventures

Less than two hours drive from Kellerwald-Edersee National Park is the city of Frankfurt, where not only will you see cultural monuments and museums but urban wildlife too.

Much like the UK, red foxes roam the cities and towns all across Germany. They are solitary animals and often hunt alone. Easily distinguishable by their burnt orange fur, at birth they are usually grey or brown but that changes within a month.

Wild boars, traditionally found in the forests of German countryside, are increasingly present in urban areas of the country too, trying to muscle in on the red foxes’ territory. In 2018 there were even cases of wild boars roaming down the roads in the area of Kleinmachnow, a suburb of Berlin.

Moors, meadows and marshes

Head south of Frankfurt to Hunsruck-Hochwald National Park which consists of moors, meadows and marshes.

If you’re heading to the mountains you’re sure to see the chamois. Similar to a goat, they are nimble creatures able to run at speeds up to 31 mph, leap the length of 19 feet and as jump as high as 7 feet. If you’re able to spot this swift moving chamois, try to capture it on camera.

Similar to the chamois, the alpine ibex can be found living in steep and rough terrain to protect it from predators. The males and females live apart for most of the year until mating season when the males will fight each other with their long horns to access the females.

Explore with DFDS

Whichever area of Germany you decide to visit, the country offers a host of habitats for an abundance of animals. Driving across the city allows you to explore the beauty of the landscape and the rich variety of wildlife living in this captivating country.

Germany is easily accessible from our DFDS routes from Newcastle to Amsterdam or Dover to France.

For more information on these crossings visit our website here.

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