Indicator Specification

Species of European interest

Indicator Specification
  Indicator codes: SEBI 003 , CSI 007
Published 21 May 2010 Last modified 25 Aug 2017
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The indicator shows changes in the conservation status of species of European interest. It is currently based on data collected under the obligations for monitoring under Article 11 of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
  • No published assessments


Justification for indicator selection


  • Policy relevance. The indicator directly indicates the implementation and success of the Habitats Directive. Therefore, it is highly relevant for Member States and EU nature conservation policy. Results are representative for the EU Member States and can be aggregated to the EU level.
  • The data will be regularly collected by Member States (Article 17 Reporting Obligation).
  • The underlying data is expected to be published by the Commission and thus easily accessible.
  • Hardly any extra costs will be involved. The resources necessary for data collection and processing are significant but have to be spent under the obligations of Article 11 of the Habitats Directive.

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

The indicator shows changes in the conservation status of species of European interest.
It is currently based on data collected under the obligations for monitoring under Article 11 of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).


Units used in figures: %


Policy context and targets

Context description

The indicator covers the species which are considered to be of European interest (listed in Annexes II, IV and V of the Habitats Directive). This set of species was chosen to be on the annexes of the Directive because they were perceived to be under some sort of threat at an EU scale. The species set covers various taxonomic groups, trophic levels and habitats.

Indicator trends should primarily be influenced by the implementation of measures under the Habitats Directive, such as the establishment of the Natura 2000 network and the species protection measures. Therefore the indicator assesses the success of the Habitats Directive, one of the main legislative pillars of EU nature conservation policy.

NB. At present the proposals for this indicator are restricted to the non-avian species listed on Annexes II, IV and V of the Habitats Directive. In the longer term, subject to discussions between Member States and the European Commission (e.g. through the Ornis Committee), on reporting under Article 12 of the Birds Directive, it may be possible to include avian species within the indicator.

Relation of the indicator to the focal area

The indicator is directly related to the CBD Focal area 'Status and trends of components of biological biodiversity'. It refers to the status of species (conservation status as defined in Article 1 of the Habitats Directive) and trends in the status over time.


No targets have been specified

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified



Methodology for indicator calculation

EU Member States have to monitor and report the conservation status (CS) of species of European interest (Annexes II, IV, V of the Directive). The conservation status is illustrated in three 'traffic light' categories ('favourable' - green, 'unfavourable inadequate' - amber, 'unfavourable bad' - red, plus unknown) characterised by four parameters:

  • trends and status of range,
  • trends and status of the overall population,
  • quality and extent of the habitat,
  • future prospects.

The indicator is based on the number of species in the three CS categories and changes between categories in time.

Further about conservation status assessment:

Methodology for gap filling

No methodology for gap filling has been specified. Probably this info has been added together with indicator calculation.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.


Data specifications

EEA data references

Data sources in latest figures



Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty


  • Limited trend information: the underlying data is not yet available and only one data set will become available before 2010. The data will only be reported in a six-year cycle.
  • The indicator is based on the EU Habitats Directive; a transfer to the global/ pan-European level is not possible.
  • There are no EU wide standards for data collection. The robustness of the indicator could therefore be limited.

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

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Most options to improve the indicator would probably either require amendments to the Habitats Directive (e.g. reporting cycle) or postulate the enlargement of the EU (e.g. geographical coverage). Thus, major improvements do not seem realisable in the short term. However, in order to improve the options for the interpretation of the data submitted by the Member States on the EU-scale, further guidance on monitoring, data collection and assessment is highly desirable. In addition, future improvements should strive at the integration of bird data, as soon as respective monitoring schemes (under the Birds Directive) are in place. Moreover, it could be further investigated if data collected on the Emerald Network ( ) can also be used to improve the indicator.

Resource needs

No resource needs have been specified


Not started


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

Work description

COSTS RELATED TO DEVELOPING, PRODUCING, AND UPDATING THE INDICATOR (as available) Once data are available, the cost of production of the indicator is relatively limited.

Resource needs

No resource needs have been specified


Not started


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

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Katarzyna Biala


European Environment Agency (EEA)


Indicator code
SEBI 003
CSI 007
Version id: 2

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 6 years


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


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