Moors: The High Moors, which prevail in Austria, are mostly found in high-altitude valleys, in hilly regions and in the mountains, where they are often densely covered with dwarf pine. They are usually found in groups, e.g. in the regions of the Waldviertel (Lower Austria) and Mühlviertel (Upper Austria) as well as Flachgau (Salzburg, the province where most moors are situated). Among the biggest moors are the Rhine Moors in Vorarlberg (2,078 hectares) and the Bleistätter Moor in Carinthia (564 hectares, peat depth 11 m). 94 % of the total area covered by moors lies below an altitude of 1,000 m. Large sections of the Irdning Moor and Wörschach Moor in Styria have been cultivated, as well as parts of the Ibmer Moos in Upper Austria, the Leopoldskron Moor in Salzburg, the Tainach Moor and Ossiach Moor in Carinthia and the Lustenau Moor in Vorarlberg. Moors used for mud baths have become increasingly important in Austria. Moors have been scientifically studied by state-owned institutions in Austria since the 19th century, which initially concentrated on the economic aspect, whereas today the focus lies on environmental protection. At present (1995) 90 % of Austrian moors are landscape conservation areas or nature preserves, although only about 19 % of the area is owned by the state. Moors are endangered by drainage, grazing and changes in land use; although they are no longer significant for fuel production, peat is still being used as a soil improver. Moor Museums have been established in Bad Wimsbach-Neydharting (Upper Austria, with Moor research institute) and in Kleinpertholz near Heidenreichstein (Lower Austria).
Literature: Federal Ministry of Health and Environmental Affairs (ed.), Handbuch der natürlichen Heilmittel Österreichs, 1985; G. M. Steiner, Österr. Moorschutzkatalog, 1995.