Habitats and species

Diversity in a small area

The Purkersdorf Nature Park is home to 4 valuable habitat types, that sustain 26 protected animal and plant species.

Forest habitats

The mix of tree species in the park's forest is very close to their natural composition. The stands are largely made up of red beech, sessile oak and hornbeam with the addition of other local tree species (wild cherry, ash, Norway maple, Austrian oak, European red pine, larch, European spruce, silver fir), which are characteristic of the forest communities of the western Wienerwald.

The stands form habitat types, four of which are particularly protected and which differ primarily in terms of the herbaceous layer:

  • "Mullbraunerde-Buchenwälder" grow on alkaline and fresh soils. 
  • "Hainsimsen-Buchenwälder" occur on sites with poor alkalinity and on acidic soils with a moderately dry to moderately fresh water balance. 
  • "Labkraut-Eichen-Hainbuchenwälder" are dominated by the sessile oak and hornbeam, interspersed with other tree species such as wild cherry, European red pine and wild service tree. 
  • "Pannonisch-balkanische Zerreichen- und Traubeneichenwälder" are built up from sessile oak and Austrian oak; hornbeams are largely absent.

The forest habitat with its associated deadwood is important for the following protected species:

Insects: Great capricorn beetle, European stag beetle, Alpine longhorn beetle
Birds: Black stork, White-backed woodpecker, Middle-spotted woodpecker, Black woodpecker, Gray-headed woodpecker, Collared flycatcher, Red-breasted flycatcher

Diverse waters

Steaming water: The nature park is bordered by the "Wien" river in the north and by the Schintergrabenbach in the east. The somewhat hidden Schintergraben has the typical morphology of a natural Wienerwald stream and is home to the following valuable species: Stone crayfish, Fire salamander, Spiketail damselfly and the appropriately called "beautiful demoiselle"

Small standing bodies of water: The small standing bodies of water (i.e. the forest biotopes and some temporary puddles in the tractor lanes) are vital for the Yellow-bellied toad or the Alpine (or Italian) crested newt. In addition, the Alpine newt, the common newt, the Agile frog and the European common brown frog can be found.

Meadows and forest edges

These two habitat groups are particularly important for six species worthy of protection: Common (blind) slow worm, Smooth snake, Sand lizard, Aesculapian snake, European green woodpecker and Common redstart.

We recently restored an old meadow on the Schöffelstein summit that was almost overgrown with trees and is about to develop into a natural hay meadow that is worth protecting.

Activities to improve the habitats

In the next few years, the Purkersdorf Nature Park will increasingly implement projects to maintain and improve the habitats and species that are natural in the Wienerwald, thereby ensuring biodiversity.

Further specific information on biological diversity can be found at the Association of Austrian Nature Parks (VNÖ).