German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Species Conservation Legislation and Conventions

Along with habitat destruction, commercial use of threatened animals and plants poses one of the greatest threats to wild fauna and flora. As a consequence of international trade, populations of many animal and plant species are vulnerable or even critically endangered. The Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was brought into being in 1973 to effectively address the danger of overexploitation. The provisions of CITES are paralleled at EU level by the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation. In addition to enforcement responsibilities, the BfN evaluates import applications from a conservation standpoint in its capacity as a scientific agency.

CITES and the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation

The Habitats Directive (Council Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora) is a conservation directive of the European Union, responsible for constructing a network of protected areas in Europe. Another important goal of the FFH-Directive is to protect wild animal and plant species along with their natural habitats, which are of European interest.

Habitats Directive

Habitat types and species

The Directive of the Europian Parliament and of the Council on the conservation of wild birds (Birds Directive) aims to permanently maintain various areas which are associated with naturally occuring bird species in the EU states, including the migratory birds.

Birds Directive

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) also referred to as Bonn Convention acts as a framework for the protection of migratory species. Appendix 1 of the Convention contains species which are threatened with extinction and are protected by rigorous regulations. Appendix 2 lists spercies which have unfavorable conservation statuses, where international cooperation is required to ensure their protection. Species for which international cooperation would be of benefit are also listed in Appendix 2.

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

List of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding

The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) is an agreement regarding the conservation of European plant and animal species in their natural habitats. The convention regulates the protection of species and their habitats by restricting the use of animals and plants and liniting their removal from the wild. The focus is on species which are highly threatened and whose populations are most sensitive.

Bern Convention

Last Change: 16/02/2021