German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Animals, Plants and Funghi

Threat status of animals, plants and fungi in Germany

Almost a third of species evaluated in the Red Lists are endangered

Over 32,000 native animal, plant and fungus species have been evaluated with regard to their threat status in the German Red Lists, including just under 11,000 taxa (species and subspecies) in the current volumes (Rote Liste 2009 ff.). Of these taxa, 29 percent are endangered and 5.6 extinct.

Of the animal species evaluated in the Red List of vertebrates (2009), the Red List of invertebrates (Part 1, 2011) and the Red List of marine organisms (2013), over 30 percent are endangered and five percent extinct. The most severely endangered animal groups, with over 40 percent of taxa endangered or extinct, include reptiles, ants, butterflies, wild bees, wasps, and long-legged, dagger and dancing flies. Among the ecologically undemanding and highly adaptable thrips, on the other hand, less than one percent of taxa are endangered or extinct. It is planned to update a further 21 invertebrate groups in the near future.

Threat status of marine macroalgae unchanged

No updated edition of the Red Lists is currently available for plants with the exception of marine macroalgae (green macroalgae, red algae and brown algae). The threat status for these is unchanged. For more than 40 percent of macroalgae species, however, knowledge of their threat status is insufficient. The updated Red Lists of vascular plants, mosses and algae are planned to be completed in 2016.

Many lichen species remain under threat

The Red List of lichens (in the broader sense) and slime moulds (Myxomycetes) was published in 2011. When it comes to the 1,946 well-studied 'true' lichens, a particularly large proportion compared with other groups are extinct (7.8 percent) or endangered (36.6 percent), even though pressures from air pollution (pollution with sulphur dioxide and successor compounds) have substantially decreased. The Red Lists of macrofungi were published in 2016.