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Threatened and protected species

Indicator Specification Created 07 Oct 2004 Published 18 Mar 2005 Last modified 04 Sep 2015, 06:59 PM
Note: new version is available!
Topics: ,
Indicator codes: CSI 007

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)


Justification for indicator selection

There are a number of ways of assessing progress towards the target of halting the loss of biodiversity in Europe by 2010. This indicator, which tracks changes in the status of European species that are threatened at the global level, can contribute to assessing progress towards the target by acting as a proxy indicator for the impacts of European and national policies on European biodiversity.

For many years, IUCN has monitored the extent and rate of biodiversity degradation by assigning species to red list categories through detailed assessment of information against a set of objective, standard, quantitative criteria. This assessment is made at the global level. For species only present in European territories and evaluated as globally threatened, this indicator therefore shows the impacts of European and national policies on European biodiversity.

For globally threatened species present in and also outside Europe, some of the species may not be classified as threatened at European or national levels. Nevertheless Europe has a strong responsibility for the care of these species even though they are not yet threatened in Europe. How far European policies on nature and biodiversity take this responsibility into consideration is shown by the information that the indicator provides on the number of globally threatened species that are protected at the European level.

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

This indicator shows:

It will show how many species present in Europe and assessed as globally threatened are protected by European instruments such as EC Directives and the Bern Convention.


Number of species

Policy context and targets

Context description

Halting the loss of biodiversity  by 2010 is one target expressed by the 6EAP and the European Council at Gothenburg and re-expressed by the Environment Council in Brussels by June 2004.

This Council also emphasizes "the importance of monitoring, evaluating and reporting on progress towards the 2010 targets, and that it is absolutely vital to communicate biodiversity issues effectively to the general public and to decision-makers in order to provoke appropriate policy responses".


There are no quantitative targets for this indicator.

The target "Halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010" implies not only that species extinction must be stopped but that threatened species must be shifted to a better status.

Related policy documents


Methodology for indicator calculation

Protection of globally threatened species by European instruments

  1.  Extract from EUNIS the list of globally threatened fauna species categorized as Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN) and Critically Endangered (CR) present in EU 25 in which both EC Directives and Bern Convention apply
  2. Based on this list, count the number of species by species group (Invertebrates, Fishes, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds and Mammals)
  3. Count the number of globally threatened fauna species by species group strictly protected by at least one of the categories of instruments:
    • Bern Convention, Annex II only
    • Bern Convention (Annex II) + EC Birds Directive (Annex II and III) + EC Habitats Directive (Annex IV)
    • Bern Convention (Annex II) + revised EC Birds Directive (Annex II and III) + revised EC Habitats Directive (Annex IV)

4. Calculate the percentage

Specific Notes:

For each group, the list of globally threatened species is extracted following the countries in which the regulations apply. Therefore the species distribution from IUCN database is used.

Subspecies globally threatened are considered as strictly protected if their nominate species was so. It is to be noted also that there is one genus of invertebrate considered by IUCN as globally threatened (Hauffenia sp., Hydrobiidae, Mesogastropoda, Mollusca). This group is mentioned as occurring in Bern signatory countries and Accessing Countries. Then, as the number of species concerned by this genus remains unknown and as no Hauffenia species is strictly protected neither by the Bern Convention nor by the EC Habitats Directive, the proportion estimated in the graph is probably higher than the reality.

Regarding the EC Bird Directive, as all the species are considered as strictly protected with special derogations for hunting and trade for a short list of species (ANNEX II & III), it is checked that no globally threatened taxa is in that short list.

Methodology for gap filling

No data gap filling is applied.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

Data sources in latest figures


Methodology uncertainty

Protection of globally threatened species by European instruments


Data sets uncertainty

Protection of globally threatened species by European instruments

  • In data sets;
  • Geographical and time coverage on EU level

IUCN red list is published every year but the update is made gradually by main species group. Because it is a global list, all Pan European countries are covered.


  • Representativeness of data on national level

The assessment of each species is made at Global level. At lower level (region such as European region), it is relevant to calculate how many species threatened at Global level are present in Europe. But at country level, some confusion can be made with the national assessment of species threatened at national level.


  • Comparability


Rationale uncertainty


Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

Work description

Planned changes: Short-Term Plans (year): Change in status of threatened species This indicator is in discussion within the SEBI2010 project Threatened and Protected species This indicator shows how nature policies protect on the paper threatened species. Next step must show how the Natura 2000 network actually covers the threatened species Future indicator could be "Surface areas of Natura 2000 network in which threatened species occur"   Develop indicator on proportion of national red list species covered by European legal instruments per country.     Medium-Term Plans (by 2008): Take into consideration species threatened at national level   Once a European red list has been constructed then develop an indicator showing the proportion of European red list species protected by European legal instruments.  

Resource needs

cf SEBI2010 project


In progress


2099/01/01 00:00:00 GMT+1

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Katarzyna Biala


No owners.


Indicator code
CSI 007
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Biodiversity Biodiversity


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DPSIR: Impact
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)

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