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European Red List of Butterflies

European Red List of Butterflies

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Published by Uğur Özkan

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Published by: Uğur Özkan on Dec 21, 2011
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01/23/2014

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EU nature conservation policy is based on two main
pieces of legislation - the Birds Directive2

and the Habitats

Directive3

. Te main aim of this nature conservation
policy is to ensure the favourable conservation status (see
Box 1) of the habitats and species found in the EU. One
of the main tools to enhance and maintain this status is
the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.

EU nature conservation policy also foresees the
integration of its protection requirements into other
EU sectoral policies such as agriculture, regional
development and transport. Te Habitats Directive,
which aims to protect other wildlife species and habitats,
applies to both terrestrial and marine regions. Each
Member State is required to identify sites of European
importance and is encouraged to put in place a special
management plan to protect them, combining long-
term conservation with economic and social activities as
part of a sustainable development strategy. Tese sites,
together with those of the Birds Directive, make up the
Natura 2000 network - the cornerstone of EU nature
conservation policy. Te Natura 2000 network has
grown over the last 25 years and now includes more than
26,000 protected areas in all Member States combined,
with a total area of around 850,000 km² – more than
20% of total EU territory4

.

Te Habitats Directive contains a series of Annexes
that mostly identify ‘habitats’ and species of European
Community concern. Member States are required
to designate Natura 2000 sites for the species listed
on Annex II; Annex IV species are subject to a strict
protection system. Table 7 shows those species identifed
as threatened by the assessment and their inclusion in
the protected species Annexes of the Habitats Directive
and Appendix II and III of the Bern Convention.

In particular there are 31 butterfy species listed on the
Annex II and IV of the Habitats Directive, of which 12
are now classed as threatened in Europe, and 5 are classed
as Near Treatened as a result of this project. Tis means
that the majority of the species listed in the Annexes are
in need of greater conservation action. However this
assessment has also revealed that 39 European butterfy
species are threatened either at the European or EU27
level, of which only 12 are legally protected in Europe.
Most of the Habitats Directive species listed that are not
included in the current Red List are still declining in parts
of their range, or have sufered historical declines and are
still in need of conservation efort. Many are also valuable
indicators of important habitats and their conservation
will bring wide biodiversity benefts.

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