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Summary of Key Findings

These summary statistics and analyses are based on the European mammals dataset published in May 2007.

  • Nearly one in six (15%) of Europe's mammal species are threatened, and a further 9% are close to qualifying for threatened status.

  • A higher proportion of marine mammals are threatened than terrestrial mammals (22% versus 14%). Two European mammal species, the aurochs Bos primigenius and the Sardinian pika Prolagus sardus have become globally extinct since AD 1500, and a third species, the grey whale Eschrichtius robustus, is regionally extinct.

  • More than a quarter (27%) of European mammals have declining populations. A further 32% are stable, and 33% are of unknown population trend. Only 8% of species populations are increasing. A number of these increases are due to successful species-specific conservation action.

Terrestrial mammal biodiversity is greatest in southeastern Europe (the Balkan Peninsula, Hungary, and Romania) and in the mountainous regions of Mediterranean and temperate Europe. Habitat loss and degradation is the greatest threat to terrestrial mammals in Europe. Human disturbance, pollution, accidental mortality (e.g., secondary poisoning, vehicle collisions), overexploitation and invasive species are also important threats. The main threats to marine mammals are accidental mortality (e.g. fisheries bycatch), pollution, and overexploitation.

Distribution of mammal species in Europe
Distribution of mammal species in Europe.
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