The European Red List of Terrestrial and Freshwater habitats

J. Rodwell, J.A.M. Janssen, M. Garcia Criado, S. Gubbay, T. Haynes, A. Nieto, Natalie Sanders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic


The European Red List of Habitats presents the first comprehensive and systematic assessment of the threat level of all terrestrial and freshwater habitats across Europe. Funded by the European Commission, the project was a collaboration of over 150 experts across the EU28 plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the Balkans. Using a typology based on the EUNIS habitat classification at level 3 (crosswalked to the alliances of the EuroVegChecklist) and a modified version of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems assessment methodology, it provides information on 228 habitats (233 in EU28+) including habitat definition, images, distribution, trends in quantity and quality over the past 50 years, long-term and future trends, pressures and threats, conservation measures, data sources and supporting literature. Assessment revealed that 36% of the habitats (31% for the EU28+) were in the three top IUCN threat categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable across Europe as whole. Most generally threatened were mires, grasslands, freshwaters and coastal habitats. Forest, heaths & scrubs and sparsely vegetated habitats were generally less threatened but often still of ongoing concern. Reasons for decline in extent and quality were numerous but most important overall were intensification of agriculture, abandonment, drainage and pollution, invasion of alien plants and animals, urbanisation and associated infrastructure development. This paper will provide details of the assessment methodology and results, outline applications of the work and indicate the online availability of project deliverables: the European Red List of Habitats report and powerpoint; and for every habitat a pdf fact-sheet, images, GIS distribution maps and full territorial data. A parallel Red List assessment has been carried out for 257 European marine habitats in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Black Seas and the North-East Atlantic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 60th IAVS annual symposium, MA Vegetation patterns in natural and cultural landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationVegetation patterns in natural and cultural landscapes
EditorsR. Guerino, G. Bazan, G. Barbera
Place of PublicationPalermo
PublisherPalermo University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9788899934408
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event60th IAVS symposium - Palermo, Italy
Duration: 20 Jun 201724 Jun 2017


Conference60th IAVS symposium


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