Wilderness Area Dürrenstein - Austria

Basic Information
Site Name
Wilderness Area Dürrenstein
Short name
Site Manager
Site Description
The „Wilderness Dürrenstein“ was founded in 2002 as Austria's only category I area according to the IUCN guidelines (Strict Nature Reserve/Wilderness Area). Category I areas are the most stringently protected natural landscapes. Visitors may only enter when participating in a guided tour. The Wilderness Dürrenstein covers an area of about 3500 ha and is characterized by the largest and vastest natural forests of Austria, which have not been cultivated or managed since the last ice age. The old growth spruce-fir-beech forest „Rothwald“ is the core area, which covers approximately 400 ha. It is located at the southern slopes of Dürrenstein – a mountain in the northern limestone Alps of Lower Austria. The research priorities are interdisciplinary monitoring and the steady continuation of the species inventory. Monitoring focuses on the impacts of wildlife and silvicultural management, ancient woodland indicator species (mainly fungi, woodpeckers and xylobiont beetles), the collection of climate data, the population ecology and impact of natural disturbances on the forest ecosystem. Furthermore, the „Wilderness Dürrenstein“ is involved in a resettlement project of the Ural Owl, which aims at establishing a survivable population of this species in Austria. There is only few infrastructure in the wilderness area. A gravel road provides access to the management zone of alpine pastures. In the eastern part, a gravel road forms a small part of the outer border. The accessibility of the core parts (virgin forest) of the area is difficult and only possible by foot. Regarding vehicles and appliances: 1 ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) 2 observation stations for climate data 1 observation station for photometry (Dark Sky Association) 3 infrared scouting cameras (in 2012, 25 new cameras will be installed) 2 huts (one inside the area, one nearby), no electricity Available data: Climate data (temperature, wind force, wind direction, precipitation and global irradiance), FFH types of habitats, biodiversity data / species lists (bryophyta, fungi, bats, grouse, selected birds of prey, woodpeckers, xylobiont beetles, lepidoptera, locusts, odonata, diptera, ants, selected hymenoptera), results of research projects on forest ecosystem dynamics, soil organisms, the effects of game and small mammals on tree rejuvenation...
Last modified
2023-08-22 02:08:06


General Characteristics and Status
Site Status
Year Established
Affiliation and Network Specific Information
LTER EuropeThis site is a verified "LTER Europe" member.
LTER Austria (LTER_EU_AT_004_001)This site is a verified "LTER Austria" member.
Centroid/Representative Coordinates

Latitude: 47.785529 Longitude: 15.059209

Elevation (average)
Elevation (min)
Elevation (max)

Site information [.json]

Centroid/representative coordinates [.shp] [.kml]
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