Environment: Many of Europe's most vulnerable species and habitats under threat
Today the Commission published a report on the conservation status of over 1150 species and 200 habitat types protected under EU law. Only a small proportion of these vulnerable habitats and species have achieved good conservation status and Member States will need to strengthen their efforts if this situation is to improve. The report, which covers 2001-2006 and is the most comprehensive survey of EU biodiversity ever undertaken, provides an invaluable reference point for measuring future trends. Grasslands, wetlands and coastal habitats face the greatest threats, mainly due to the decline of traditional patterns of agriculture, tourist development and climate change. The picture is not uniformly gloomy, however, and some larger, emblematic species such as the wolf, Eurasian lynx, beaver and otter are beginning to re-colonize parts of their traditional range. Many Member States invested heavily to carry out the detailed monitoring, and despite a number of gaps, the reporting has been a great success.