Schönbrunner Tiergarten-Gesellschaft m.b.H
, Maxingstraße 13b
, 1130 Vienna
|Bombinatoridae||Bombina variegata||yellow-bellied toad||1,1|
|Certhiidae||Certhia brachydactyla||Short-toed treecreeper|
|Corvidae||Corvus corone||Carrion crow|
|Corvidae||Garrulus glandarius||Eurasian jay|
|Fringillidae||Coccothraustes coccothraustes||European grosbeak|
|Hirundinidae||Hirundo rustica||Barn swallow|
|Lacertidae||Lacerta viridis||Green Lizard||1,1|
|Lacertidae||Podarcis muralis||Common wall lizard||2,2|
|Muscicapidae||Erithacus rubecula||European robin|
|Paridae||Cyanistes caeruleus||Blue tit|
|Paridae||Parus major||Great tit|
|Paridae||Poecile palustris||Marsh tit|
|Passeridae||Passer domesticus||House sparrow|
|Piciformes||Dendrocopos medius||Middle Spotted woodpecker|
|Piciformes||Picus viridis||Green woodpecker|
|Salamandridae||Salamandra salamandra||Fire Salamander||2,3|
|Salamandridae||Triturus alpestris||Alpine newt||2,3|
|Salamandridae||Triturus carnifex||Crested newt||2,3|
|Sturnidae||Sturnus vulgaris||Common starling|
|Troglodytidae||Troglodytes troglodytes||Winter wren|
|Turdidae||Turdus merula||Common blackbird|
|Turdidae||Turdus philomelos||Song thrush|
|Viperidae||Vipera ammodytes||Sand viper||2|
|Viperidae||Vipera berus||European adder||2|
The main idea of the Nature Experience Walk at Zoo Schönbrunn is to immerse visitors in the native flora and fauna of the local natural environment. The walk is made up of three parts: ‘In the Forest’, ‘At the Water’ and ‘In the Reeds’.
The Nature Experience Walk is situated on the foothills of the Viennese forest. The forest was modified by forestry and today represents an attractive mix of forest and park with a high biodiversity. ‘In the Forest’ is a 160 meter long tree canopy walk, where zoo visitors can observe the native wildlife from a high viewpoint, followed by a 170 meter long trail on the ground. The canopy path makes use of the zoo’s topography. Starting at the Tirolerhof, the path gains height and leads visitors through the tree canopy in a height of up to 10 meters. Visitors may see birds and their nests located high up in the trees. Some visitors may prefer the alternative path on the ground, where it is possible to see squirrels, bugs and even fox.
Four bomb craters are located in the forest. These are remnants from 60 aircraft bombs that were targeted at the nearby barracks towards the end of World War II.
On exiting 'In The Forest', visitors pass a meadow with wild butterflies and grasshoppers. Man-made insect homes are on display, as are hedges, piles of branches and stones that serve as habitats for native fauna in an urban environment. A number of terraria displays native reptiles and amphibia.
The path winds down towards ‘At the Water’. Here, three large outdoor aquaria direct the attention to native fish. The Nature Experience Walk then continues to ‘In the Reeds’, where pelicans, cormorants, fire-bellied toads and harvest mice can be seen.
The purpose of the Nature Experience Walk is to interpret the native flora and fauna as being equally as exciting in comparison with exotic animals, such as elephants, lions and fruit bats. Habitats along the Nature Experience Walk are strengthened, enriched and highlighted to visitors. The three thematic parts were realised step by step as budget became available. The tree canopy walk was opened in April 2009, the continuing forest ground walk in April 2010.
The hanging bridge is 160 meters long and a maximum of 10 meters above ground. The average slope is 8%. The total path length is about 230 meters.
The terraria are 125 x 125 x 125 cm, their underground chambers are 30 x 40 cm.
The area for the lizards is 55 m² with a 2 m² puddle.
Space allocation in square meters:
|use||indoors||outdoors|| total exhibit |
|accessible|| total ||accessible|| total |
Funding came from Zoo Schönbrunn with support of the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth of the Republic of Austria and the Austrian Federal Forests.
16 April 2009
- Architecture: Peter Hartmann, Vienna
- Planning, Design and Interpretation: Hermann Fast, Thomas Wampula, Herwig Pechlaner, Manfred Christ, Vienna
- Statics: ACHT.Ziviltechniker GMBH, Fröhlich & Locher
- Ground surveyor: 3P Geotechnik ZT GmbH
- Steel construction: GLS-Bau- und Montage GmbH
- Wood works: Pöchhacker Holzbau GmbH, Fa Linzberger
- Electrical works: Klenk & Meder
- Access control: Gottschlich Karl GesmbH & CoKG
- Landscaping: Urgarten Schmoigl
- Arborists: Österreichische Bundesforste ÖBF
- Terraria: Fa Heidenbauer
The European beech (Fagus sylvatica) was planted in the forest as it is important for the habitat but was not originally growing in the specific area.
The plant list specifies the Latin names of the plants used for this exhibit.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO ANIMALS:
The forest provides a natural environment for native wildlife. The vegetation is used by the animals for nesting, perching, foraging, feeding and protection.
Two terraria are set up for poisonous snakes. Another terrarium holds newts, salamanders and toads. All terraria have underground chambers for hibernation and heated pads on the outside.
The area for the lizards was designed like the edge of a vinyard with loose stone walls, piles of wood and a puddle. The animals can hibernate in a covered pile of stones. The visitor barriers are glass panels.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO KEEPERS:
Native wild animals do not require husbandry for their care. Animal management is limited to feeding and nesting support that improve visibility of the animals for the visitors.
All terraria have electricity and water connections. A separate chamber between the underground winter chamber and the terrarium serves the animals as a retreat and allows keepers to lock them in and access the terraria for maintenance without any risk of injury or escape.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO VISITORS:
Visitors can experience being in the middle of a forest in the Vienna city center.
Signs are available for visitors to learn about the Viennese forest, its fauna and flora. Information is offered on plants that use the trees as parasites, commensals or for support. Visitors may observe birds, squirrels and other native wildlife, while at the same time enjoying a special view of the zoo, Schönbrunn palace and the city of Vienna.
Feeding areas and nesting boxes have been set up to create good viewing opportunities for visitors.
Visitors who cannot cope with height are referred to an alternative path on the ground at the entrance to the bridge.
Terraria along the forest ground path display native poisonous snakes and newts. An ant colony was placed next to the path behind glass to give visitors the opportunity to see a typical forest ant colony.
Towards the end of the forest path, visitors can learn about the importance of stone and branch piles, puddles and dead fall for native wildlife and how to incorporate these habitat elements in private gardens as well as providing browse plants and nests for insects, bats and birds.
Signs are available with information about the trees, wildlife and the forest itself. A hearing-based interactive about bird calls is situated in a tree trunk.
The hanging bridge consists of three parts. Each part is allocated for 60 persons maximum, meaning that a total of 180 persons is allowed on the hanging bridge at the same time. A control system avoids exceeding this number. Light barriers, turnstiles and lights are installed at the entry and exit of the bridge. These act as counters and to manage visitor flow. Counters are also found at both platforms in between entry and exit. Ten cameras allow staff to monitor the bridge. If more than 30 persons access one part of the bridge, a zoo employee comes to control the entry. They can use loud speakers to guide and inform the visitors.
The bridge is closed at night and when the wind speed in the area exceeds 60 km/h.
Representatives from Austrian Federal Forests regularly inspect for trees or large branches that could potentially fall onto the bridge.
Weight capacity of the bridge was tested with 50 tons worth in order to gain the official permit. 60 soldiers from the Austrian Armed Forces tested the vibration of the bridge.
An inventory by Dr. Sachslehner in 2005-2006 indicated that this part of the zoo had the highest species diversity.
The construction of the tree canopy path had to respect the natural aspects of its surroundings in order to work for the Nature Experience Walk.
A range of native wild animals uses the terrain of the zoo as their habitat. The various biotops along the Nature Experience Walk are enriched in order to highlight nature conservation in an urban environment. The goal of these improvements is to attract wild animals and visitors alike.
A study completed in 2005-2006 by Dr. Sachslehner showed that 74 bird species were observed, of which 22 species were breeding frequently in the zoo grounds. Three of the breeding species are locally endangered: middle spotted woodpecker, short-toed treecreeper and barn swallow, as their populations in this area are in decline.
The local native wildlife is the theme of the Nature Experience Walk.
|European Red Squirrel (15)|
|©Annette Gunn, 2010|
|Ant Colony (20)|
|©Monika Fiby, 2010|
|Spiderweb for Children (21)|
|©Monika Fiby, 2010|
|Outdoor Terrariums (22)|
|©Monika Fiby, 2010|
|Common Viper (23)|
|©Monika Fiby, 2010|