Nationalpark Thayatal

2082 Hardegg

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National Park Thayatal
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Fauna & flora

Would you like to get to know better some of the fauna and flora species of the Thayatal? Here you will find a comprehensive description of the biology of selected species - all of them typical representatives of the pannonian-central European flora and fauna area.

Animal species of the National Park Thayatal


Wild cat

Wild Cat (Felis silvestris)

The return of the extremely shy wild cat is a small sensation. It could be identified for the first time in 30 years in Austria, in 2007, in the National Park. The National Park Thayatal created a separate homepage on for this (so far in German only).


Black stork in the Thaya

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)

This almost 1 m. tall stilted bird can often be seen fishing in the Thaya between Hardegg and the Überstieg. Hikers may get lucky in particular in the early morning hours or before noon.


Male emerald lizard with its blue throat

Emerald Lizard (Lacerta viridis)

Every year, early May, an impressive show takes place at the vantage points of the Überstieg and Max plateau: emerald lizards are looking for a mate! With its population, the National Park is among the "hot spots” in Austria.


Common toads mating
Common toads mating, A. Waringer-Löschenkohl
Common toads mating
The common toad (Bufo bufo)

Between mid-March and early April, hikers can meet along the Kaja brook common toads and other amphibians on their long journey to the spawning waters. In 2012, the common toad was elected amphibian of the year.

More information about the common toad [PDF]

Stag beetles mating

Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus)

The larvae of the stag beetle needs 5 to 8 years to develop into an adult beetle. During this time, it eats its way through the rotting wood of rootstocks or tree trunks, in particular oak trees.


Noble crayfish in low water

Noble Crayfish (Astacus astacus)

Once widely spread, they are now threatened with extinction. Noble crayfish are a exceptionally rare in Austrian watercourses - in the rivers of the National Park they find an appropriate retreat.


Flora of the National Park


Flowers of Siberian melic grass

Siberian Melic Grass (Melica altissima)

The only known habitat of Siberian melic grass in Austria can be found in the dry grassland and forest steppes of the National Park Thayatal.


Flower of variegated iris

Variegated Iris (Iris variegata)

Variegated Irises have always been most appreciated for their fragrant rhizomes, which are used to produce oils and creams. The unmistakable shape of their flower made them very early on a popular item for gardeners and botanists.


Lady's slipper

Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus)

The lady's slipper is not only the largest indigenous orchid, it is also characterized by a very special pollination mechanism of the basin trap flower.


Hanging flower of the Turk's-cap lily

Turk's-cap Lily (Lilium martagon)

The plant owes its name to its turban-like shape. In old Viennese cookbooks of the late 17th century the "gugelhupf” is called Turk's cap cake or Bundt cake.


Yellow flowering cornelian cherry

Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas)

The Cornelian cherry is an inconspicuous bush. However, in the early spring before the leaves appear, it becomes quite stunning - its bright yellow blossoms shine everywhere.


Endangered Species

Because of its large habitat diversity and its high nature orientation, many endangered species of flora and fauna can be found in the National Park Thayatal. A database has been established based on existing research, which provides information on the species and its level of threat.