Nature protection and biodiversity - State and impacts (Lithuania)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated)
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SOER Common environmental theme from Lithuania
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 11 May 2020

Lithuania has over 20 000 species of animals, 6 500 fungi and 1 800 plants. Some 90 species of fungi, 70 plants, 11 shellfish and four molluscs are common in Lithuania. However, there are also a number of invasive species of fish, birds and mammals.

In 2009, Lithuania cultivated 105 varieties of grain crops, 52 of potatoes, 59 of rape, nine of flax and 36 of apples. In total, Lithuania has over 3 000 varieties of field, garden and orchard plants. The country also produces around 10 different breeds of cattle, six of horses and 10 of sheep. Lithuanian native animal genetic resources include 14 breeds: three breeds of horse, four of cattle, two of pigs and two of sheep, as well as local breeds of goats, geese and bees.

The first Lithuanian Red Data Book list was authorised in 1976. In 2003, the Red Data Book list included 259 animal, 357 plant, 134 fungi and 65 lichen species. In 2007, this list contained 253 animal, 339 plant, 112 fungi and 63 lichen species. However, the best news was that the list also contained an extended range of five restored species: the European bison, the otter, the corncrake, the twaite shad, the medicinal leech and 10 varieties of flowering plant.

To protect its biodiversity, Lithuania is establishing conservation priority areas (protected state reserves, state and municipal reserves and heritage sites), restoration protection areas,  ecological protection zones and integrated protected areas (national and regional parks, biosphere reserves and biosphere sites). At present, the system of protected areas covers about 15.3 % of the country’s territory (Fig. 1).

Lithuania is home to 50 species (36 animal and 14 plant species) of Annex II and 52 habitat types of Annex I to the Habitats Directive. In addition, there are 53 bird species of Annex I to the Birds Directive that breed in Lithuania. To conserve these biodiversity values, 366 sites (68 % of the existing protected areas, except for the sea water areas) in the Natura 2000 network had been formally designated by June 2009 (Fig. 2). The establishment of a total of 390 Natura 2000 sites is envisaged.


Figure 1:

Fig. 1 Categories and relative percentages of protected areas, 2008 Source: State Service for Protected Areas under Ministry of Environment

Figure 2:

Fig. 2. Natura 2000 network in Lithuania, 2009 Source: State Service for Protected Areas under Ministry of Environment





Buveinių apsaugai svarbios teritorijos

Areas of importance for the conservation of habitats

Paukščių apsaugai svarbios teritorijos

Important bird areas

Saugomų teritorijų valstybės kadastras

State cadastre of protected areas

Valstybinė saugomų teritorijų tarnyba prie Aplinkos ministerijos

State Service for Protected Areas under the Ministry of Environment


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The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

Filed under: SOER2010, biodiversity
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