This ecoregion consists of the depression surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, Alps, and Dinaric Mountains. Avifauna diversity is high; there are fifty Important Bird Areas in this ecoregion. Lake Neusiedel with Seewinkel National Park, and other important wetlands are renowned for their bird life (Heath and Evans 2000). Resident mammals are of the widespread throughout Europe including the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), wolf (Canis lupus), and the endangered European mink (Mustela lutreola). There are a number of endangered reptiles including Orsini’s viper and Balkan wall lizard. Recreation and tourism, unsustainable exploitation, development and fragmentation, agricultural abandonment, and disturbance of wildlife, are other important threats (Heath & Evans 2000). There are a number of natural parks in this ecoregion, but much of the natural habitat has been lost to agriculture.
Location and General Description
Types and Severity of Threats
Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
This ecoregion is equivalent to the DMEER (2000) unit of the same name. The boundaries of this unit are primarily a product of the DMEER delineation process, which were then modified during discussions between WWF, DMEER, and Dr. Udo Bohn. The ecoregion is based on the complex of vegetation in the Pannonian basin. This complex includes subcontinental thermophilous (mixed) pedunculate oak and sessile oak forests, sub-Mediterranean subcontinental thermophilous bitter oak forests, as well as mixed forests, mixed oak-hornbeam forests, sub-Mediterranean-subcontinental lowland to montane herb-grass steppes, and azonal floodplain vegetation (Bohn et al. 2000). Outlying areas of downy oak forests, mixed oak-hornbeam forests, and beech and mixed beech forests that were part of the early DMEER unit were split off and merged with surrounding ecoregions.
Bohn, Udo, Gisela Gollub, and Christoph Hettwer. 2000. Reduced general map of the natural vegetation of Europe. 1:10 million. Bonn-Bad Godesberg 2000.
Davis, S.D., V.H. Heywood, and A.C. Hamilton. 1994. Centers of plant diversity. Vol. 1: Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia and Middle East. WWF and IUCN, Washington DC.
Digital Map of European Ecological Regions (DMEER), Version 2000/05
Heath, M.F., and M.I. Evans, editors. 2000. Important bird areas in Europe: Priority sites for conservation. 2 vols. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
Heinzel, H., R. Fitter, and J. Parslow. 1977. Pareys Vogelbuch - Alle Vögel Europas, Nordafrikas und des mittleren Ostens. Aufl. Verl. P. Parey, Hamburg, Berlin.
IUCN 2000: The Global Redlist of Species, of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. URL: <http://www.redlist.org>
Ozenda, P. 1994. Végétation du Continent Européen. Delachaux et Niestlé, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Stanners, D., and P. Bourdeau, editors. 1995. Europe's environment: The Dobris assessment. European Environment Agency, Copenhagen.
Wheatley, N. 2000. Where to watch birds in Europe and Russia. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.