Europe has a rich diversity of wild plants and animals many of which are unique to this continent and exist nowhere else in the world. As elsewhere, however, our wildlife species are increasingly in danger. A recent European assessment of the conservation status of around 6000 European species undertaken by IUCN revealed that up to 25% of European animal species are now threatened with extinction.
The EU Habitats and Birds Directives are the cornerstones of the EU’s nature legislation. Together, they require Member States to ensure both the physical protection of individual specimens across the 27 EU countries as well as the conservation of core breeding and resting sites for certain particularly rare and threatened species under the Natura 2000 Network.