Located in the heart of Europe, Germany can be divided into five distinct environmental regions: north lowlands, southern hills, central uplands, alpine foothills and the Rhine River Valley. Wolves, bears and other large carnivores are making a comeback in some of these regions after being hunted to extinction in the 20th century. Other wild animals in Germany include roe deer, wild boar, fox, badger, hare and small numbers of beaver. Various migratory birds cross the country in spring and autumn.
About one-third of Germany is woodlands, with large preserved areas of oak, ash, elm, beech, birch and pine. Factory and car pollution, however, is blamed for the widespread destruction of many forests from acid rain. In addition, agricultural run-off, including fertilizers and pesticides, has polluted many lakes and streams.