Red List of Threatened Habitat Types

Red Lists are an important tool in nature conservation by forming an instrument for legal assessment and environmental planning. Red Lists provide a list of all existing but specifically of all extinct, lost and threatened species, communities or biotopes.

Red Lists for animal and plant species have a comparatively long tradition in nature conservation – first published by IUCN in 1962. Species communities and biotopes only are in focus since 1994 when the first edition of the Red List of Threatened Habitat Types was published in Germany by the Federal Agency of Nature Conservation (BfN). An updated, second edition followed in 2006.

In Mai 2017 the third edition of the Red List of Threatened Habitat Types was published. It updates, inter alia, references of biotope types according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Habitats Directive (FFH) and the EUNIS habitat classification of the European Environment Agency (EEA).

MariLim Aquatic Research contributed to the comprehensive new classification for marine biotope types. As part of a research and development project, initiated by the then Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (today: Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, BMUV) we developed the scientific basis required for the new classification and assessment of marine biotopes, together with the project partners BioConsult Schuchardt & Scholle GbR (today: BioConsult GmbH & Co. KG; in German) and the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde (IOW), working group Ecology of benthic organisms, as well as numerous experts on biotopes working at BfN and the relevant state agencies.

We payed attention to secure the compatibility to existing, internationally agreed biotope keys. For example, the HELCOM Commission has developed the system HELCOM-HUB to classify the biotope types of the Baltic Sea.

The Red List status currently comprises of three criteria:

  • national long-term threat (nTH) – calculated from the two sub criteria loss of area and qualitative change
  • the current trend (T)
  • rarity (R)

Further information is provided by the BfN [in German].