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National Parks Austria

Naturally. Extraordinary

Austria's National Parks occupy a special place within nature conservation policy. They are not only important to Austria, but rather are of vital international interest. The ecologically most treasured regions of Austria have been declared national parks. At present, there are six national parks with a total area of 2,350 sq. km, or around 3% of the total area of Austria. The following criteria have been applied in the selection of national parks: size; degree to which the ecosystem is representative; ownership of area; feasibility.

Development of the Austrian national park system commenced in 1971 with the so-called "Heiligenblut Agreement" in which the three provinces Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol decided to establish the Hohe Tauern National Park.

The national park administrations provide infrastructure and experiential programmes for visitors, establish educational facilities, initiate conservation and research projects, and carry out public relations work. All activities are laid down in management plans for the medium-term.

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Today, the national parks have not only established themselves as centres for learning about the environment, but have also become leading regional projects in their own right. With over 300 dedicated employees, the national parks have become a leading attraction for visitors of all ages; they are refuge for endangered plants and animals; and places of reflection and contemplation. Ultimately, the high-quality visitor attractions should benefit nature, because that which is treasured and appreciated will also be protected.

There are six Austrian national parks represented under the National Parks of Austria umbrella: the Donau-Auen, Gesäuse, Hohe Tauern, Kalkalpen, Neusiedlersee-Seewinkel and Thayatal National Parks. The BMKUEMIT (Federal Ministry) initiates and coordinates joint activities of the National Parks of Austria:

  • We protect the environment and carry out research into the environment; we inform and offer recreational possibilities.

  • We sustain the habitats of rare and in some cases critically endangered plant and animal species.

  • We invest today in the priceless ecosystem of tomorrow.

  • We allow nature to be experienced fully and offer attractive recreational opportunities.

  • We protect the smaller worlds and vitalise the regions.

Nationalparks Austria 
Gesäuse National Park
Hohe Tauern National Park
Neusiedlersee-Seewinkel National Park
Kalkalpen National Park
Thayatal National Park