Nationalpark Hohe Tauern

Fauna

The golden eagle forms part of the Hohe Tauern National Park's coat of arms, one of many wild animal species that has adapted perfectly to the habitat.


In the realm of superlatives

Bearded vultures, golden eagles and griffon vultures are the most impressive birds of the Alps. The tiny goldcrest, the smallest native songbird, weighs only five to six grams. The mighty ibex have huge horns and are as nimble on steep terrain as a weasel. Thanks to their plumage, ptarmigans can survive temperatures below minus 25 degrees Celsius, while marmots withdraw to their sleeping dens over winter in order to survive the cold season. The wildlife of the Hohe Tauern National park is a fascinating world of many superlatives. Here, we would like to present the Hohe Tauern National Park's Big Five.


Bearded vulture

Bearded vultures are among the most impressive animals in the Hohe Tauern National Park. The reintroduction of this spectacular raptor with a wingspan of up to 2.9 metres started in the Rauriser Krumltal (Rauris Kruml valley) back in 1986. Adult bearded vultures have a grey-black upper body. Head, neck and breast are pale yellow to rust red. The bristle-like black feathers hanging over its beak are the reason for the bearded vulture's name.  These birds are carrion and bone eaters and feed on what other animals have left behind on carcasses.  Do you want to know where our bearded vultures roam?
More can be found at:

Bearded vultures Online


Ibex

The ibex can be found on steep cliffs and scree. Despite its size and weight, the ibex is an excellent climber. Why? Its hooves are the perfect 'climbing shoes' with their rubbery soft pads and hard edges. The male ibex can weigh more than 90 kg and has powerful horns that curve backwards measuring up to one metre in length. The females are smaller and only have shorts horns that are barely curved. The females with the kids and the males live in packs, it is only the old animals that tend to lead a solitary existence. An estimated 1,100 ibex now live in the Hohe Tauern National Park – following a reintroduction in the 1960s.


Golden eagle

There are around 40 breeding pairs of golden eagles in the Hohe Tauern National Park that provide about 15 birds per year thus ensuring that their population numbers remain stable. A pair of golden eagles remain together for life and have several nests in their territory, which they use alternately.  A pair normally incubate two eggs, the younger chick is usually killed by its older sibling – this is referred to as Cainism. The birds reach a wingspan of up to 2.1 metres. They have long wings and a broad tail. Golden eagles can see three times more clearly than human beings – a strategic advantage when hunting from the air.


Marmot

You can easily find marmots to watch in the Hohe Tauern region. The animals live in large family groups in underground burrows, which are on Alpine meadows, boulder fields and pastures from 1,400 m to 2,700 m above sea level. Using whistling, marmots are able to warn each other about danger. A series of whistles announces dangers on the ground. A single whistle is used to warn of danger from the air, usually posed by an eagle. Marmots use the short summer to eat enough reserves for the winter, which they spend asleep in their well-padded burrows.


Chamois

Among the large beasts of the Hohe Tauern, it is the diurnal, goat-like chamois that is most frequently to be seen. Its summer coat is light brown with the fur changing to black-brown in winter. Both males and females have horns that are referred to as "Crutches". The females live with the kids in packs led by an older female. And the younger males will form packs together, while the older males are outspoken loners. Fierce territorial battles happen between rival males. The males and females only come together during the mating season.



National park history -

the formation of the Alps

 

 

The Tauern Window is an unusual geological feature:

You can view an exciting journey through the millennia of Earth's history.

 

Read more

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