Take a look at the wild side of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)! The region is home to some strictly protected plants and animals, which you’ll be able to see on your holiday. You might want to look out for lynx in the Harz mountains National Park, or watch the graceful cranes and herons on Diepholzer Moor, or even discover the fascinating seals and the ‘Small Five’ at the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site – whatever your preference, the biodiversity of Niedersachsen is waiting to be explored on your next trip.
The King of the Skies returned to Lake Steinhude in 2000. With a wing span of around two metres (over six feet), the sea eagle is an impressive sight to behold – and makes for a stunning photo! Tip: don’t forget your telephoto lens! The Ökologische Schutzstation Steinhuder Meer (Lake Steinhude Nature Conservation Association) website has a webcam, so you can observe the eyrie (the sea eagles’ nest) all year round.
The sea eagle and its ‘little brother’ the osprey have also taken up residence at Dümmer See (Lake Dümmer).
Beavers on the Elbe river
Europe’s largest rodent has also made a comeback in Niedersachsen. A particularly good place to spot a beaver is along the Elbe river. The Biosphaerium adventure museum in the Biosphere Reserve ‘Niedersächsische Elbtalaue’ (Elbe Valley Niedersachsen) has an extensive outdoor area, where you can watch beavers building dams.
Seals in Niedersachsen’s Wadden Sea
The best time to see seals in the North Sea is in spring and summer. Boats to the seal sandbanks leave from several places along the coast – it’s a thrilling experience for nature lovers young and old. You can also visit these marine mammals all year round at the Nationalpark-Haus Seal Sanctuary in Norddeich – it’s particularly fun to watch them at their daily feeding time.
As for the ‘Small Five’ of the North Sea – the lugworm, cockle, shore crab, mud snail and brown shrimp – you can see them any time you like on a guided walk across the mud flats.
Cranes on Diepholzer Moor
From March, nature puts on a very special show: the courtship dances of the cranes. In the Diepholzer Moorniederung area of the Dümmer Nature Park you’ll find lots of viewing points to enjoy the show. And if you stop off at Moorwelten, an engaging, hands-on museum devoted to the environment and the moors, a trip to the region will be all the more worthwhile.
Lynx in the Harz mountains
The lynx is back in the Harz mountains. The animals were reintroduced to the area in 2000, and today they roam freely across vast swathes of the low mountain landscape. If you’re hiking in the area and you’re really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this bashful wildcat. A sure way to see these animals is to take a trip to Bad Harzburg, where there’s a free viewing enclosure with four lynx for you to watch in their natural environment.