NP Bayerischer Wald

NP Bavarian Forest

Germany's first national park

The Bavarian Forest National Park (NP) is a characteristic low mountain range in Central Europe with extensive forests. The NP is situated in the middle of the Bavaria Forest which adjoins the Czech Republic’s Bohemian Forest in the east. Taken together, the Bavarian and the Bohemian Forest constitute the largest continuous forest in Central Europe. About one third of the area lies in an altitude above 1,000 metres.

In the north-east the NP is bordered by the Czech Republic’s Sumava Biosphere Reserve. The natural spruce forest of the mountain crests and plateaus are characteristic for both nature reserves. Taken together, both reserves cover an area of about 1,000 km2, thus constituting the largest cross-border national park in Central Europe. Today the development of both national parks is coordinated.

The NP Bayerischer Wald is characterized by a multitude of typical natural plant and animal communities. Striking weather and climate phenomena can be observed in the national park. For instance, the average temperature during winter and the yearly average are lower in the national park compared to similar heights in the Alps and in other low mountain ranges in southern Germany. During fall and winter the hillsides are often significantly warmer than the valleys, a phenomenon called temperature inversion.

The sampling area encompasses the whole region of the national park.

  • 75% of the area belongs to the core zone with complete protection of all natural processes. In this zone about 4500 hectares of old spruce have been destroyed by the bark beetle. By natural succession virgin forests begin to replace the destroyed trees.
  • The national park is part of the largest German nature reserve.
  • It is a Fauna-Flora-Habitat Area (FFH) and bird sanctuary of 24,250 hectares and is thus an important component of the European Biosphere Network.
  • The national park is used extensively for tourism.
  • Scientific work is one of the main tasks of national parks. Up to now, more than 680 scientific projects were carried out in the Bavarian National Park.


  • Main investigation area in the core zone of the Bavarian Forest National Park


  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.
  • The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
  • Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.


Sampling period

1989 - 2022

Extended information

Links to external information and legislation