European red list of habitats. Part 1: Marine habitats

S. Gubbay, N. Sanders, T. Haynes, J.A.M. Janssen, J.R. Rodwell, A. Nieto, M. Garcia Criado, S. Beal, J. Borg

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


The European Red List of Habitats provides an overview of the risk
of collapse (degree of endangerment) of marine, terrestrial and
freshwater habitats in the European Union (EU28) and adjacent
regions (EU28+), based on a consistent set of categories and
criteria, and detailed data and expert knowledge from involved
countries1. A total of 257 benthic marine habitat types were
assessed. In total, 19% (EU28) and 18% (EU28+) of the evaluated
habitats were assessed as threatened in categories Critically
Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable. An additional 12% were
Near Threatened in the EU28 and 11% in the EU28+. These figures
are approximately doubled if Data Deficient habitats are excluded.
The percentage of threatened habitat types differs across the
regional seas. The highest proportion of threatened habitats in
the EU28 was found in the Mediterranean Sea (32%), followed by
the North-East Atlantic (23%), the Black Sea (13%) and then the
Baltic Sea (8%). There was a similar pattern in the EU28+.
The most frequently cited pressures and threats were similar
across the four regional seas: pollution (eutrophication), biological
resource use other than agriculture or forestry (mainly fishing but
also aquaculture), natural system modifications (e.g. dredging and
sea defence works), urbanisation and climate change. Even for
habitats where the assessment outcome was Data Deficient, the
Red List assessment process has resulted in the compilation of a
substantial body of useful information to support the conservation
of marine habitats
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Union
Number of pages52
ISBN (Print)9789279615863
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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  • Cite this

    Gubbay, S., Sanders, N., Haynes, T., Janssen, J. A. M., Rodwell, J. R., Nieto, A., Garcia Criado, M., Beal, S., & Borg, J. (2016). European red list of habitats. Part 1: Marine habitats. European Union.