German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Conservation Status Assessment for Species and Habitat Types

EU Commission Requirements

The scope and content of data to be delivered in national reports under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive were stipulated by the European Commission. A reporting format was drafted with the participation of the member states and adopted by the Habitats Committee on 20 April 2005 (DocHab-04-03-03 rev3.doc with Annexes A to F. This reporting format is binding for the 2007 report. Its annexes contain a full specification of the data needed for the report. The requirements were implemented in Germany in close consultation between national government and the Länder.

To aid member states in compiling their national reports, the EU Commission has also published a guidance document, "Assessment, Monitoring and Reporting under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive: Explanatory Notes & Guidelines", PDF file (Final Draft, Oktober 2006). This was adopted by the Habitats Committee prior to publication. Appendix 1 (PDF file) contains the reporting format. Appendix 2 (PDF file) provides member states with an example of a method for determining the range and conservation status of a habitat type.

Member states assess the conservation status of species and habitat types separately for each biogeographic region. It is necessary to use the biogeographic regions as reference regions to take proper account of the overall European range with its biogeographical variations. For example, the conservation status of a habitat type found across Germany is assessed separately for the Alpine, Atlantic and Continental regions.

Map of biogeographic regions in Germany, PDF file

The conservation status of species is assessed using four parameters: present-day range, population, habitat for the species, and future prospects (Annex C of the reporting format (PDF file, in German)). The parameters for habitats are present-day range, area covered by habitat within range, specific structures and functions, and future prospects (Annex E, PDF file, in German). For each species or habitat type, each parameter is assessed according to specific criteria using reference to threshold and maximum values and is assigned to one of three classes, ‘Good’ (green), ‘Unfavourable-Inadequate’ (amber) or ‘Unfavourable-Bad’ (red). A fourth classification, ‘Unknown’ (grey) is used if the available information does not allow exact classification of the parameters. The overall assessment of the conservation status, i.e. the combined value of the four equally weighted parameters, is arrived at as follows: If any one of the four parameters is red or amber, the overall assessment is red or amber. To achieve an overall assessment of green, at least three of the parameters must be green. If at least two parameters are unknown and none is red or amber, the overall assessment is classed as unknown.

Last Change: 23/01/2008