Besides its art-historical value, the Harrachpark today is of particular importance as
a refuge for a large number of rare animal and plant species.
With its many
different types of habitats, the park provides the ideal basic conditions for a
very diverse fauna. With about 50 bird species which breed here periodically the
park belongs to the most varied habitats of Central Europe.
Among them, there are endangered species like the jackdaw, numerous species
of woodpeckers and the stock dove. The stock dove is the only dove which lives in the tree holes that were left behind by black woodpeckers.
Animal life also flourishes at the widely ramified network of water bodies in the Harrachpark. In addition to water birds, there are a large number of amphibians and reptiles as well as numerous different dragonfly species, which are buzzing above the meadows near the water.
From the botanical point of view, the Harrachpark is noted for the extraordinary variety and shapes of its exotic trees. They testify the gardening ability of Count Johann Nepomuk Ernst Harrach and his gardener Christoph Lübeck.
In contrast to many other parks, a multiplicity of exotic plants has survived the lack of accurate maintenance for decades, so that the park today features an unsurpassable collection of fully developed rare woods.
The swamp cypresses in the Harrachpark belong to the oldest specimens in Central Europe. The home of these tree species are the marshes of the Southern US-States and the Mississippi valley. Other trees of the park have its origins in Asia, like the Japanese zelkova, which seldom reaches such a height in Europe.
Other botanical gems include weeping European hornbeams, incense cedars, cutleaf European beeches, a Hungarian oak and an oriental plane.
Representatives of less rare tree species captivate visitors with their
particularly beautiful growth. Beeches, ancient oaks, massive planes – they all
create highlights in the park scenery.
In addition to the impressive solitary
trees, picturesque groups of trees have been arranged in other places, such as
a group of Austrian pines, a group of Caucasian wingnuts, ensembles of
massive planes, or the so-called “pine hill”.