Environmental Data Compendium
63 factsheets about the environment
Nature, landscape and biodiversity

Conservation status and trends in species and habitat types under the Birds and Habitats Directives, 2007-2012

Almost all the habitat types in the Netherlands have an unfavourable-bad to unfavourable-inadequate conservation status. About a quarter of the Habitats Directive species have a favourable conservation status. The species with an unfavourable conservation status in the Netherlands show a stronger trend towards a more favourable status than in the other member states.

Birds and Habitats Directive reporting obligations

The Birds Directive and Habitats Directive (BHD) impose obligations on the member states to maintain or restore a favourable/secure conservation status for habitat types and species. Under article 17 of the Habitats Directive (HD) and article 12 of the Birds Directive (BD) member states must report to the European Union on the status and trends of species and habitat types every six years (see NL Article 17 and NL Article 12 reports; ETC-BDa,b 2016).

Target of sustainable conservation status for European nature not yet within reach

The BHD target for the Netherlands and the other member states - to achieve and maintain a favourable (HD) or secure (BD) conservation status for all species and habitat types - is not yet within reach. The first EU State of Nature report (2015) contains an overview of the status and trends of all BHD species and habitat types in the European Union (EEA 2015), which shows that the conservation status of many species and habitat types in Europe is unfavourable. Across all the EU27 member states, 16% of the habitat types and 23% of the Habitats Directive species have a favourable conservation status. In the Netherlands just 4% of the habitat types have a favourable conservation status, the lowest percentage of all the member states. Of the Habitats Directive species in the Netherlands, 23% have a favourable conservation status. The status of a little more than half of all the assessed wild bird species in Europe is secure and about 15% have a sensitive or deteriorating status. A further 17% of the birds listed in the Birds Directive are endangered.

Trends in Habitats Directive species and habitat types

The national conservation status of all protected habitat types and Habitats Directive species in the Netherlands has remained more or less the same over the two reporting periods (2001-2006 and 2007-2012). The same goes for the rest of Europe.
The EU assessment reporting format includes changes and trends in the conservation status of species and habitat types with an unfavourable status. In the Netherlands, 10% of the habitat types with an unfavourable conservation status have shown an improvement. However, as in the other member states, conditions within a greater proportion of habitat types with an unfavourable status have deteriorated. The status of almost 27% of the habitat types in the Netherlands has deteriorated, compared with 30% across Europe as a whole.
In almost all member states a few Habitats Directive species with an unfavourable status have shown some improvement. In the Netherlands there has been more improvement in the condition of species with an unfavourable status than in the other member states. However, in all the member states there has been more deterioration than improvement. Compared with the first reporting period, the status of 22% of the Habitats Directive species with an unfavourable status across the EU has deteriorated (EEA 2015).

Trends for breeding birds and wintering birds



The status of all native bird species listed in the Birds Directive is determined at the European level and not by each member state individually. However, long-term (1980-2012) and short-term (2001-2012) population trends are available at member state level. Just over half of the European birds have a secure status (EEA 2015). The trends in the Netherlands for the period 2001-2012 are variable: the situation of 39% of the breeding birds and 37% of the wintering populations has improved, but the situation of 37% of the breeding birds and 21% of the wintering populations has deteriorated. This means that the Netherlands is among the member states that have achieved the best improvements in conservation status, but at the same time has the most deterioration in the status of breeding birds.

The Netherlands compared with surrounding countries



To see how the Netherlands is performing, the conservation status in the Netherlands can be compared with that in the surrounding countries in the same region with similar habitats. As in the Netherlands, the conservation status of more than half the habitat types and Habitats Directive species in the surrounding countries in the Atlantic region is unfavourable-inadequate to unfavourable-bad. However, a comparison of the conservation status of habitat types and Habitats Directive species in the Netherlands with the same habitat types and species found in the surrounding countries shows that these species are relatively worse off in the Netherlands, but that the habitat types are about the same or better.

Policy to achieve a more favourable conservation status

Dutch policy aims to achieve a favourable/secure conservation status for species and habitats covered by the Birds and Habitats Directives, but does not specify a particular date by which this should have been achieved. The basis of current Dutch policy is the National Ecological Network (Natuurnetwerk Nederland). Most of the Natura 2000 sites are an integral part of this network and are therefore also an essential instrument for achieving the required favourable conservation status for the protected plant and animal species and habitat types listed in the Birds and Habitats Directives. The conservation measures taken outside the National Ecological Network also contribute towards achieving this favourable conservation status.

EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

The aim of the Biodiversity Strategy is to halt the deterioration of all species and habitats covered by European legislation and to significantly improve their status. The target for 2020 is at least a good or better conservation status for 100% more habitat types and 50% more species protected under the Habitats Directive than in 2010. In addition, 50% more bird species listed in the Birds Directive must have a secure or improved status. For all EU member states this means that 34% of the habitat types, 25% of the Habitats Directive species and 78% of the bird species should have a favourable conservation status by 2020.

References

Relevant information

Technical information

Archive for this indicator

Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2016). Conservation status and trends in species and habitat types under the Birds and Habitats Directives, 2007-2012 (indicator 1483, version 04 , 19 October 2016 ). www.environmentaldata.nl. 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.