The Wachau, part of the Danube valley, is characterized by rocky slopes and cliffs. Land-use in the Wachau is mainly vineyards and orchards on the slopes, with arable land on the valley floor. Extensive areas of forest also remain on the slopes but native broadleaved species have been replaced with Picea. The Jauerling, a low mountain to the north-west of the Wachau, is covered by non-native Picea forests, interspersed with patches of broadleaved forest and grasslands.
The site is important for species characteristic of open woodland, non-intensively managed orchards, rocky slopes and cliffs.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The floor of the Wachau is threatened by agricultural intensification, infrastructural development and housing development. Afforestation threatens the remaining grasslands and native broadleaved forest is being converted to Picea monocultures.
National None International High25,000 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Wachau-Jauerling, 45,802 ha).
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wachau. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 21/04/2021.