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C3b. Status of UK species of European importance

Updated 5 December 2019

Type: State indicator

Indicator Description

Member States of the European Union are required to report every 6 years on the conservation status of habitats and species of community interest (listed in the Annexes of the EU Habitats Directive). These are habitats and species for which the UK has European-level conservation responsibilities.

The assessments need to conclude whether each species of European importance found in the UK is in a: ‘Favourable’, ‘Unfavourable-Inadequate’, ‘Unfavourable-Bad’ or ‘Unknown’ conservation status. These categories are combined in the indicator as explained in the online fiche.  This indicator is based on an evaluation of whether the results of the most recent assessment (2019) are better or worse than those for the previous assessments (2007 and 2013).


  1. Summary


This indicator has been updated with new data from the 2019 UK Habitats Directive Article 17 report to the European Union.

In 2007, 26% of UK species listed in Annexes II, IV or V of the Habitats Directive were in favourable conservation status. This figure increased to 39% in 2013 before decreasing again to 35% in 2019 (Figure C3bi).

The conservation status of 18% of the species was unfavourable-improving in 2007. It decreased to 10% in 2013 and 4% in 2019.

The conservation status of 14% of the species was unfavourable-declining in 2007. This increased to 15% in 2013 and 17% in 2019.

The proportion of the species assessed as unfavourable-stable increased from 17% in 2007, to 19% in 2013, and decreased to 11% in 2019.

Figure C3bi. Conservation status of UK species of European importance, 2007, 2013 and 2019.



  1. The number of species assessed was 89 in 2007, and 93 in 2013 and 2019.
  2. The chart is based on species listed in Annexes II, IV and V of the Habitats Directive, but excluding vagrants.
  3. The 'unfavourable-unknown' category was first introduced in 2019.
  4. Trends in unfavourable conservation status allow identification of whether progress is being made, as it will take many years for some habitats and species to reach favourable conservation status.

Source: UK Habitats Directive (Article 17) reports to the EU, 2007, 2013 and 2019.


Assessment of change in status of UK species of European importance


Long term

Short term

Latest year

Percentage of UK species of European importance in favourable or improving conservation status



Not assessed

Note: The long- and short-term assessments are based on a 3% rule of thumb. See Assessing Indicators. No latest-year change is provided because Article 17 reports are only submitted once every 6 years and therefore, any latest-year change would simply mirror the short-term assessment.



Download the fiche and datasheet from the JNCC Resource Hub

Last updated:  December 2019

Latest data: 2019




UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019

Published: .

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