Distribution of nationally protected sites (CDDA) in Europe according to their IUCN management category classification
The distribution of nationally protected sites under the various IUCN management categories shows different patterns across Europe (map below). While sites in IUCN category V are predominantly located in France, Germany and the United Kingdom (countries with the largest population in the EU), IUCN categories Ib and Ia are predominantly distributed in Scandinavia. Although the data are not available in the CDDA for Spain, it is well known that IUCN category V is also very important in this country (EUROPARC Spain, 2008). This information is based on ca. 70 % of sites for which countries have provided their management category.
Distribution of the Natura 2000 network in the EU-27
The Birds and the Habitats Directives established the Natura 2000 network of protected areas across Europe. Building a network of sites across Europe on the basis of a common methodology, criteria and set of ecological features favours better ecological coherence than if the networks were only organised within each Member State. A European network helps migratory species, and allows for taking into account genetic diversity and ecological variability. It also facilitates the identification and designation of sites across borders that better take into account the natural distribution of species and habitat types.
Natura 2000 interactive map viewer
The European database on Natura 2000 sites consists of data submitted by Member States to the European Commission. This data is visualised with the Natura 2000 interactive map viewer. Nationally designated areas are also available from within the interactive map viewer.