In 2008 the Commission began to support the development of Species Action Plans for selected species listed in the Habitats Directive. The plans are intended to be used as a tool for identifying and prioritising measures to restore the populations of these species across their range within the EU. They provide information about the status, ecology, threats and current conservation measures for each species and list the key actions that are required to improve their conservation status in Europe. Each Plan is the result of an extensive process of consultation with individual experts in Europe.
The plans are intended to assist Member States in the conservation of these species but they not legally binding documents nor do they engage the Member States beyond their existing legal commitments under this Directive.