Germany is a country in Central Europe. Germany is situated between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south; it covers an area of 357,022 square kilometres, with a population of over 83 million. Germany borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west.
The territory of Germany can be divided into five terrestrial ecoregions: Atlantic mixed forests, Baltic mixed forests, Central European mixed forests, Western European broadleaf forests, and Alps conifer and mixed forests. As of 2016 51% of Germany's land area is devoted to agriculture, while 30% is forested and 14% is covered by settlements or infrastructure.
Plants and animals include those generally common to Central Europe. According to the National Forest Inventory, beeches, oaks, and other deciduous trees constitute just over 40% of the forests; roughly 60% are conifers, particularly spruce and pine. There are many species of ferns, flowers, fungi, and mosses. Wild animals include roe deer, wild boar, mouflon, fox, badger, hare, and small numbers of the Eurasian beaver. The blue cornflower was once a German national symbol.
The 16 national parks in Germany include the Jasmund National Park, the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park, the Müritz National Park, the Wadden Sea National Parks, the Harz National Park, the Hainich National Park, the Black Forest National Park, the Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Bavarian Forest National Park and the Berchtesgaden National Park. In addition, there are 17 Biosphere Reserves, and 105 nature parks. More than 400 zoos and animal parks operate in Germany. The Berlin Zoo, which opened in 1844, is the oldest in Germany, and claims the most comprehensive collection of species in the world.