Threatened and protected species (CSI 007) - Assessment published Nov 2005
Biodiversity (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- CSI 007
Key policy question: What measures are taken to conserve or restore biodiversity ?
Species diversity can be conserved by establishing protected species lists at the national and the international levels. European countries have agreed to join efforts to conserve threatened species by listing them for protection in European Union Directives and/or the Bern Convention. Some, but not all, of the globally endangered species of wild fauna occurring in Europe in 2004 are currently under European protection status. The responsibility of the EU towards the global community for the conservation of these listed species is high.
Percentage of inclusion of globally threatened species occurring in EU-25 in protected species lists of EU directives and the Bern Convention
2004 IUCN list, Annexes of EU Birds and FFH directives and Bern convention
According to IUCN (2004), 147 Vertebrate species (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) and 310 Invertebrate species (Crustaceans, Insects and Molluscs) occurring in the EU25, are considered to be globally threatened, since they have been categorised as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable.
The overall assessment shows that specific protection status by European Union legislation and the Bern Convention exists for all globally threatened bird species, and for a fair percentage of the reptiles and mammals. However, most of the globally threatened amphibians and fish, as well as invertebrate species occurring in EU 25 are not protected at the European level. Information on whether these receive protection at national level, where they occur, is not readily available.
All 20 globally threatened bird species occurring in EU25 are protected either by the EU Birds Directive (which, while protecting all bird species, lists in its Annex I a number of species for which strict habitat management is needed) or the Bern Convention (Annex II).
Up to 86 % of reptile and mammal species have been protected at the European level so far:12 out of 14 globally threatened reptile species and 28 out of 35 mammal species have been included in the the EU Habitats directive (Annexes II & IV), or the Bern Convention (Annex II).
Less than half of the amphibian and fish species have been protected under European legislation so far; 7 out of 15 amphibian species and 24 out of 63 fish species have been included in the legislative lists.
The gap for invertebrate species is vast. Only 43 out of 310 species have been included in the above mentioned lists.
The indicator in its present form cannot directly assess the effectiveness of EU biodiversity policies. It can only confirm the extent of European responsibility to the global community and show the extent to which global responsibilities are covered by European legislation.
Annexes of Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats (Bern Convention, 1979)
provided by Council of Europe (CoE)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
provided by World Conservation Union
Annexes of the EC 79/709 and 92/43 Directives
provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.