European Red List of Birds

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    The IUCN Red List is widely recognised as the most authoritative and objective system for assessing the extinction risk of species. Although it was primarily developed for global use, it can also be applied at regional and national levels, following IUCN's regional Red Listing guidelines. Since 2005, the European Commission has financed European Red Lists for all terrestrial vertebrate groups, except birds. During 2012–2014, a Commission-funded project – led by BirdLife International, and involving a consortium including the European Bird Census Council, Wetlands International, IUCN, BTO, Sovon, RSPB, Czech Society for Ornithology and BirdLife Europe – will fill this gap.

    The project has three main objectives:

    • to  produce a European Red List for birds, following the current IUCN criteria and guidelines, at both pan-European and European Union (EU) scales;
    • to provide technical assistance to EU Member States during the first cycle using the new format and system for reporting under Article 12 of the EU Birds Directive
    • to support the European Commission, European Environment Agency and European Topic Centre for Biological Diversity in the EU-wide analysis of the data arising from Article 12 reporting. 

    The core outputs from the project will be a set of online factsheets summarising the geographic distribution, population size and trend, habitat and ecology, major threats, conservation measures and regional (pan-European and EU) Red List status of each of the c. 520 wild bird species occurring naturally and regularly in Europe, plus a report providing an overview of the main results.

    A printed multi-species data inventory is not a contracted deliverable of the project, but BirdLife will apply additional (non-IUCN) criteria and classify Species of European Conservation Concern (SPECs) – as in the two previous editions of Birds in Europe – via a separate exercise in 2015.


Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.