Austria in February
I am going to stay for a week in Vienna around February 20th.
I plan to spend some of the time mammal watching, and was wondering if anyone has good information.
I reckon that the famous European Hamsters and Souslik of Vienna will be hibernating and impossible to watch, am I right?
Is it still possible to spot any other of the city’s mammals like beavers or deer? Where?
Also, I would greatly appreciate any other tip for Austria mammal watching (preferably not too far from Vienna but will be flexible), especially for Mustelids.
Any information will be helpful.
Hello Yuval, my trip report from 2022 might provide some tips for the winter as well. Hamsters: I have no idea, their hibernation seems pretty deep, but it might still be worth a shot to walk the cemeteries, especially if it’s a warm day. They do wake up from time to time apparently and if I would be you, I would definitely give it a try!
The Austrian nature conservation also has a website with distribution maps off all the mammals in Austria and even better also of Viena and the surroundings. Sadly for some species there is just very little data.
On the left bar where it says: Kartenausschnitt
Put in: Wien und Umgebung
And at the bar Art wahlen:
Type the latin name off the species you want
Click the button: Karte generieren
Hopefully that helps a little bit.
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I used to know Vienna very well – I lived and worked there some years ago. Some of this information may be out of date but for what it’s worth… You don’t say what your target species are but the Lainzer Tiergarten, despite its name, is a 24 sq. km. wildlife reserve west of the city, easily reached by public transport, and wild boar, fallow deer, mouflon, red deer etc. are all fairly easy to see. The Vienna Woods / Wienerwald are, of course, also close by and easy to get to. Though popular, the woods are vast with many miles of hiking trails and have always been a good place to see wild boar, roe deer etc. There are also deer in the woods of the Prater amusement park. I cannot say with certainty whether there is any chance of seeing souslik or hamsters but I never saw them in February and I suspect you are right – they will be hibernating. But there is a good chance of seeing red squirrels in the city parks, including the black morph. For beaver try the Stadtpark and the Donaukanal. Have a great time it’s a wonderful city!