European Biodiversity Conservation

The natural world relies on a diversity of organisms to keep it in balance, healthy and thriving. To ensure we protect and nourish this biodiversity it is imperative that we gather and disseminate essential knowledge that can empower people, industries and governments and help them live in harmony with nature.

Biodiversity is integral to a healthy and stable environment. Due to unsustainable human activities, the planet is currently experiencing a biodiversity loss crisis. In Europe, threats to biodiversity include changes in the way land and sea are used, pollution, overexploitation, invasive alien species and climate change - amongst many more.

European Red Lists 

1_en_nt_redlist_logo_iucnwebPhoto: © IUCN

The European Red List is a review of the status of European species according to the IUCN regional Red Listing guidelines. It identifies those species that are threatened with extinction at the European level so that appropriate conservation action can be taken to improve their status. 

To date 15,060 species have been assessed on the European Red List including all vertebrate species (mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and fishes), all dragonflies, all butterflies, all bees, all grasshoppers, crickets and bush-crickets, all freshwater molluscs, all trees, all medicinal plants, all pteridophytes and a selection of terrestrial molluscs, saproxylic beetles, bryophytes, and endemic shrubs.

ButterflyPhoto: Photo: kie-ker

Pollinators in Europe 

Pollinators, such as bumblebees, solitary bees, honeybees, butterflies, moths and hoverflies are facing an array of concerning threats. We rely on these pollinators to help make our food through crop pollination and keep our ecosystems flourishing by pollinating flora and trees. In 2018, the European Commission launched the EU Pollinators Initiative, an EU-wide strategy to address the decline of pollinators across the region. The IUCN is helping the EU Commission to implement this initiative.

Invasive Alien Species 

Invasive alien species (IAS) are species that are introduced, accidentally or intentionally, outside of their natural geographic range and that become problematic. IUCN, through a series of service contracts with the European Commission and in collaboration with the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), has been providing technical and scientific support for the implementation of the EU IAS Regulation since 2016. 

Coomon myna
Identification, assessment, sharing and dissemination of best practices for the…
Regulation (EU) 1143/2014 on invasive alien species established a European framework to prevent, minimise, and mitigate adverse impacts from IAS. The legislation includes dedicated articles on prevention, early detection and rapid eradication, and…