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Plants and Animals



Plants and Animals


The small country of Liechtenstein has about 1600 plant species, 800 of which belong to the typical Alpine flora and the rest to the valley and mountain flora. In 1989, the Liechtenstein government decided to declare the entire Alpine region a protected plant area.

Edelweiss, LiechtensteinEdelweiss, LiechtensteinPhoto: Tobias Gasser CC 2.5 no changes made

The Alpine flora includes plants which are common elsewhere in Europe, such as edelweiss, gentian, fire lily, alpine rose, alpine aster and snow rose. Unusual plants include the rare Triglav's dwarf striped seed, the Swiss lion's tooth (Leontodon helveticus), Senecio abrotanifolius (a type of figwort), the blue-green stonecrop Saxifraga caesia, the Alpine snapdragon (Linaria alpina) and Astragalus sempervirens (a spiny butterfly plant).

The Schwabbrünnen-Äscher nature reserve is characterised by its many marsh plants, including the common adder tongue (Phioglossum vulgatum) and the yellow louse (Iris pseudacorus).

Siberian Iris, LiechtensteinSiberian Iris, LiechtensteinPhoto: BerndH CC 3.0 no changes made

The most distinctive plant in the Ruggeller Reed is the Siberian iris and of European significance is the crested fern (Dryopteris cristata). Furthermore, there are approximately 450 species of vascular plants, 72 species of marsh plants and 216 species of mushrooms.

The most important tree species in the valley area is beech, which can still be found in its original form in some places. Other common tree species are maple, alder, larch and several conifer species.

Ghost Orchid, LiechtensteinGhost Orchid, LiechtensteinPhoto: BerndH CC 3.0 no changes made

A description of the flora of Liechtenstein would not be complete if it did not include the wealth of orchids. In the small area, 48 species can be found, among them the rare ghost orchid (Epipogium aphyllum), the graceful Malaxis monophyllos and also the lady's slipper (Cypripedium calceolus), Cephalanthera damasonium, Cephalantera longifolia, Cephalantera rubra, Orchis pyramidalis, Orchis palustris and Chamorchis alpina.


For a small country, Liechtenstein has a great diversity of animal species. For example, Liechtenstein has 55 mammal species (including 17 bat species), 140 breeding birds, 7 reptiles, 10 amphibians and 24 freshwater fish.

The insect world is also very diverse, including 120 butterfly species, 342 bugs, 76 longhorn beetles, 72 netwings, 194 hoverflies and 65 gall midges.

CAlpine Ibex, LiechtensteinPhoto: Martouf in the public domain

The typical Alpine country Liechtenstein also has a typical Alpine fauna. Next to big animals like deer, chamois, ibex and golden eagles, the snow hare and the Alpine Schneehuhn belong to it. The murmur bull and the long-nosed bat, the black grouse, the alpine sparrow, the long-legged owl, the yellowfinch, the little owl, the alpine jackdaw, the lemon canary, the snow finch, the water pipit and the rock creeper are also typical examples of Alpine fauna.

Also indigenous are the alpine newt, the brown frog, the toad, the alpine newt and the only species of snake, the adder.

White-backed Woodpecker, LiechtensteinWhite-backed Woodpecker, LiechtensteinPhoto: Alistair Rae CC 2.0 no change made

Deer, foxes, badgers, black woodpeckers, white-backed woodpeckers, eagle owls and the flying deer, a species of beetle, live in the transition from valley to mountain area.


Economische Voorlichtingsdienst

Encarta Encyclopedie

Winter, R. de / Basisinformatie Liechtenstein
Liechtensteinse Vriendenkring

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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