Nature, landscape and biodiversity

Influence of climate change on plant and animal species

You are currently viewing an archived version of this indicator. The most recent version can be viewed here.

There has been a significant decline in the number of cold-loving species in recent years in the Netherlands, and a corresponding increase in heat-loving species. Numbers of 'neutral' species have remained more or less stable. This would seem to be related to changes in the climate.

Climate change

Global climate change has been clearly observed in recent years. The climate is becoming warmer, and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent.

Effects on flora and fauna

This climate change is also seen in the Netherlands, where the warming of the climate is affecting plant and animal species. The resulting reduced habitat for cold-loving species in the Netherlands is resulting in their decline. However, conditions for heat-loving species are improving, so that they are increasing in number. This applies to species from all kinds of species groups, such as birds, butterflies and amphibians.

Shift in habitat area

Climate change is also causing habitat areas to shift. More and more southern species are being found in the Netherlands, while it is possible that species that live in the north of the country may disappear all together.


  • Nijhof, B.S.J., C.C. Vos en A.J. van Strien (2007). Indicators for the 'Convention on Biodiversity 2010' Influence of climate change on biodiversity. WOT-Werkdocument 53.7a Wettelijke Onderzoekstaken Natuur & Milieu. Wageningen.
  • Pearson, R.G. en Terence P. Dawson (2003). Predicting the impacts of climate change on the distribution of species: are bioclimate envelope models useful? Global Ecology and Biogeography 12 (5), 361-371.

Archive for this indicator

Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2014). Influence of climate change on plant and animal species (indicator 1429, version 07 , 9 July 2014 ). Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.