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UK BAP Priority Species

UK BAP priority species were those that were identified as being the most threatened and requiring conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). The original list of UK BAP priority species was created between 1995 and 1999. In 2007, however, a revised list was produced, following a 2-year review of UK BAP processes and priorities, which included a review of the priority species and habitats lists (see the Report of the Species and Habitats Review (2007) for more information). Following the review, the list of UK BAP priority species increased from less than 600 to 1,150.

As a result of devolution, and new country-level and international drivers and requirements, much of the work previously carried out by the UK BAP is now focussed at a country-level rather than a UK-level, and the UK BAP was succeeded by the 'UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework' in July 2012, and subsequently by a revised UK Biodiversity Framework and the UK’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. The UK list of priority species, however, remains an important reference source and has been used to help draw up statutory lists of priority species in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as required under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (England), Section 7 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, Section 2(4) of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, and Section 3(1) of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

UK BAP Priority Species List

The full UK BAP list of priority species can be viewed in the 'Priority Lists Spreadsheet', which also contains details of priority habitats. In addition, the list is available on JNCC's Resource Hub in a series of tables, split into the following taxonomic groups:


Species are listed alphabetically by current scientific name. Additional information provided includes common names, and known occurrence in the four countries of the UK. Scientific names and commonly used synonyms were derived from the UK Species inventory project (formerly the Nameserver facility), managed by the Natural History Museum. This provides a controlled taxonomy that follows the advice of leading UK experts, and also ensures that the naming used is compatible with other resources. More detailed information about the taxonomy, and distribution (including searchable maps of the UK), of these species can be found on the NBN Atlas.

The list of priority species, and the taxonomic tables, can be used to establish if a species was 'new' (added in 2007), or 'original' (pre-2007), as only original species will have a SAP, a Species Statement, or be included within a grouped action plan. 


Selection of the 2007 UK BAP Priority Species List

Selection of UK species for the priority list generated in 2007, through the Species and Habitat Review, followed consideration by expert working groups against a set of selection criteria, based on international importance, rapid decline and high risk. Additional information is available in the 'Selection criteria' spreadsheet spreadsheet, which describes the criteria used in more detail, and provides the details and justifications for the selection of each individual priority species.

The original UK BAP list of priority species was created between 1995 and 1999, and the original number of priority species, listed in Species Action Plans (including grouped plans) and Species Statements, was reported to be 577. Most of the species from the original list were carried over into the 2007 list, but some were not, due to changes in status or classification criteria. In total, 123 species no longer met the criteria for selection, and were therefore de-listed. In many cases, this was due to conservation action. The Species and Habitats Review Report (2007) describes the processes used to produce the list, and the 'De-listed Species' spreadsheet contains the details of the species which were de-listed and the reasons why.


Species Action Plans

For all species on the original priority species list, produced between 1995 and 1999, a Species Action Plan (SAP), or a Species Statement was created. By 1999, 391 SAPs (including 11 grouped action plans), and 104 Species Statements were created, and the total number of priority species was reported to be 577.

By 1995, 116 SAPs and 14 HAPs had been published in Tranche 1 of 'Biodiversity: the UK Steering Group Report: Volume 2: Action Plans'.

The remaining SAPs and HAPs were published in Tranche 2, which was divided into six volumes and published between 1998 and 1999:

Copies of these volumes are available on JNCC's Resource Hub, along with Volume 1 of Biodiversity: the UK Steering Group Report - Meeting the Rio Challenge, published in 1995.

These SAPs were created over 20 years ago, and therefore do not give the most recent representation of the status of a species, or any potential conservation needs. For the species added to the priority species list in 2007 (nearly 600 new species), no UK action plans have been, or will be, produced, as conservation action is now primarily being carried out at a country-level, rather than a UK-level, in response to the generation of country-level biodiversity strategies and aims.


Priority species accounts

In 2010, JNCC collated information, from a variety of sources, for all of the 1,150 species included on the UK BAP priority species list. For each species, a 'species account' was created from these collations. All of the information available in these species accounts had already been published through different reports and publications. The aim of the collation was to bring together all of the data available about each species into a single report.

Four sources of information were used to generate the species accounts.

  1. Information derived from the Species and Habitats Review Report (2007): An explanation of the process used for the review is included in the Report (2007). 
  2. The 2nd UK Report on the implementation of the Habitats Directive (2008): This is applicable to species listed under the Annexes 2, 4 and 5 of the Habitats Directive. The information presented in the species pages was collated by the UK Government in fulfilment of the requirement under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive.
  3. JNCC’s collation of information on species designations: The designations shown were as at January 2010.
  4. The 2008 UK BAP reporting round: The 2008 UK BAP reporting round examined the 475 species which were placed on the original UK BAP list in 1997. For each species, information was provided on status, trends, successes, threats, constraints, and state of knowledge.

Given the age of the species accounts, which were created over 10 years ago, and which were based on reports and information that was published prior to 2010, these priority species accounts are not being migrated to JNCC's new website.  However, the information is still available through The National Archives.

Please note that any errors within these accounts are likely to have been present in the original information and reports from which the species accounts were produced, some of which dates back to 2005.

 If you require any additional information on these species accounts or the UK BAP, please contact us.  





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