Berlin has some unusual inhabitants, Source: Depositphotos

Berlin and Vienna's most common wild animals might surprise you

Berlin and Vienna's most common wild animals might surprise you

Exploring the unique “wildlife footprints” of European urban areas

A cross-border project called StadtWildTiere (CityWildAnimals) has taken upon itself to study the wildlife fauna of the main cities of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It discovered that Berlin, Vienna and Zurich despite their shared Central European geographic location have marked differences in the wildlife that inhabits them pointing to evidence that each modern urban area might be its own contained ecosystem.

In a recently published study, those involved in the project compared the data on wildlife observations from the three cities. They noted that each of them presents its own “wildlife footprint” in terms of animal populations, and some of these might be surprising to the average European urban resident.

Raccoons rampant in Berlin?

It turned out that Vienna, for instance, is the kingdom of wild hares, so it may be considered a good setting for Easter decorations and egg hunts. Zurich apparently is rich in badgers and red squirrels. But the biggest surprise in the study must be the German capital, Berlin, which apparently has tons of wild boars and raccoons.

Whereas wild boars have been making the news headlines in plenty of European cities in recent years, the presence of 1,000 wild raccoons in Berlin can be a bit confounding, given that this animal is native to North America. Indeed, raccoons are a common site and a pest found digging around in the trash bins of US and Canadian cities, but how did they end up in Berlin?

According to I Am Expat, the German capital’s large raccoon population can be attributed to the fact that they were introduced to then-Nazi Germany in the 1930s for their fur, before escaping captivity in the capital during the Second World War bombings and chaos.

StadtWildTiere urged future urban developers in each city to consider the report’s findings and plan their environmental policies in a way that accommodates their unique wildlife footprints.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU