% of land is covered by protected areas.
  species and   habitats are protected under EU law

Austria is a largely mountainous country with an area of close to 84 000 km². It is land-locked and bordered by 8 other countries. The highest point is Grossglockner at 3 789 m. Austria has a population of 8.8 million people and a population density of 107.1 people per km².

Protected areas

  Protected areas

 % of land

There are a total of   protected areas in ,   Natura 2000 sites -   Special Protection Areas (Birds Directive) and   Sites of Community Importance (Habitat Directive) - as well as   sites designated under national laws.


 % of the network is protected only through national laws

 % of the network consists solely of Natura 2000 sites

 % consist of and overlap between the two.

The average size of protected areas in Europe is lower compared to other regions of the world. This largely reflects the high degree of fragmentation of the land in Europe due to urbanisation, infrastructure and general intensification of land use. At a EU level 50% of protected areas have an area of less than 1 km². The 10 largest marine sites account for 68% of the marine area, while the 10 largest land sites account for 41% of the land area covered by protected areas

Size distribution of 's land protected areas network



Natura 2000 sites in cover   species and   habitats from the nature directives. The number of species and habitats protected in each site varies depending on the location of the site, the biodiversity in the region, the designation being used, and the features the site is being created to protect. For   sites there is only 1 feature being protected with   sites having more than 20 features.


Protected species

Species protected in under EU law are protected under the Habitats Directive and under the Birds Directive. The Habitats Directive has a total of 2 500 species on its list, the Birds Directive has a total of 500 species of wild birds protected.

  species protected under EU law in

  species are unique to

  species under the Habitats Directive

  species under the Birds Directive

Conservation status: Habitats Directive

 % of species are considered to be Good

 % of species are considered to be Poor

 % of species are considered to be Bad

 % of species are considered to be Unknown

Conservation Status by Taxa


Protected species composition by Taxa


Protected habitats

Habitats protected in under EU law are protected under the Habitats Directive. The Habitats Directive has a total of 233 habitats on its list.

  habitats protected under EU law in .

Conservation status: Habitats Directive

 % of habitats are considered to be Good

 % of habitats are considered to be Poor

 % of habitats are considered to be Bad

Conservation Status by Group

Habitat composition by Group








MAES in Austria:

MAES related activities in Austria focused on the development of biodiversity indicators. For this, several studies have been conducted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, also dealing with Ecosystem Services. Aim of a was to assess the condition and importance of biological diversity in Austria, to describe Ecosystem Services in a common language and to depict possible conflicts, e. g. effects of soil sealing on various services.

Read more

Green infrastructure in Austria:

In Austria, the states (Bundesländer) have legislative and executive powers with regard to spatial planning, nature protection and transport. Bundesländer are also responsible for the administration, implementation and enforcement of certain federal laws at the lower levels of government.

The Austrian Biodiversity Strategy 2020+ (BMLFUW, 2014) includes actions to strengthen biotope connectivity. Austria has specific targets for integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services in spatial planning, with measures such as incorporating ecological infrastructure in spatial planning, consideration of functional connectivity and the habitat network when establishing compensating areas, increase of grasslands in urban areas, the provision of features that promote biodiversity in newly established green areas, and the preservation of un-fragmented areas and migration corridors (European Commission, 2017).

Read more

National Biodiversity strategy for Austria:

To report on progress to the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy, the European Commission extracted relevant information from the EU Member States’ 5th national reports to the CBD. Of the 5 countries which had not finalized their national reports at the time of the synthesis (26th of August 2015), Greece, Malta, Portugal and Lithuania provided information to be included in the synthesis.

Read more