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Swabian Alb Biosphere Reserve, Germany

Located in the southernmost part of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Swabian Alb Biosphere Reserve is known for its great diversity. From elevations ranging from 328 m to 872 m above the sea level, and very dense forests intertwined with open areas, the Biosphere Reserve for over 110 years housed a military facility and is known for its fruit-tree meadows, as well as the Alb Escarpment with its valleys and creeks.

It is nestled in one of Germany’s most prosperous and industrial regions, so the Biosphere Reserve is part of a statewide sustainable development strategy that includes promoting ecotourism, sustainable agriculture and forestry projects, among others.

Designation date: 2008


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: Mountains




    Surface : 84,525 ha

    • Core area(s): 2,685 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 35,122 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 46,718 ha 

    Location: 48°26’04.5428’’N - 9°28’43.5642’’E

    Administrative Authorities

    Biosphere Reserve Administration at the Regional Council of Tübingen
    Geschäftsstelle Biosphärengebiet Schwäbische Alb
    Altes Lager Gebäude R13
    D-72525 Münsingen-Auingen GERMANY

    Tel.: +49.7381-93293810


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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Swabian Alb is located at the foothills of the German Alps and features a mosaic of a wide variety of forests, open rock formations, screes, unforested nutrient-poor calcareous grasslands and shrub areas. It is also known for its typical species-rich hay meadows and fruit-tree meadows, which provides a breeding ground for various birds species, including endangered ones, likes the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the middle spotted woodpecker (Picoides medius) and the Bonelli’s warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli).




    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The fact that the Alb Piedmont and the Alb Escarpment were part of the core landscape of the Duchy of Swabia led to the construction of quite a large number of castles in the beginning of the 11th century. Along with the natural features of the Biosphere Reserve and the proximity to the European metropolis and innovative center Stuttgart, it lends the area a high potential for tourism.

    Besides that, the area has substantial sustainable agriculture and forestry projects that, for instance, promote the increase of organic farming cultivation areas.



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    Last updated: October 2018