Today, Šumava as a typical highland forest territory is primarily the home of the original central European forest fauna.

The only animals missing are larger beasts such as bear and wolf, eradicated by humans in the 19th century. Originally, during the medieval period, large ungulates such as bison and elk were also eradicated, however the elk has returned and it is currently part of the fauna in the southern part of Šumava. One of the attractive species is the well known, and since the 1980s, the successfully reintroduced Northern Lynx. Large species of ungulates, especially deer, are artificially managed in the absence of their natural predators. The main content of animal welfare in the National Park is to protect the original and endangered species, their habitats and the optimization of the abundance of species.

Typical inhabitants of the Šumava forests with higher altitude are particularly the so called bore alpine birds, (i.e., species living in the northern taiga and central European mountains). The most famous of these are the capercaillie, living in the upland forests, the grouse, living in the moors and the open wetlands and the more widespread hazel grouse.