Europe has a rich diversity of wild plant and animal species many of which are unique to this continent and exist nowhere else in the world

The conservation status of species in Europe

The latest conservation status assessment of species under the EU’s nature directives, prepared by the EEA and its ETC shows that most protected species in Europe have a poor or bad conservation status. Please visit the dedicated page to access the assessment

European species in numbers

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) European biodiversity includes:

≈ 20,000

species of vascular plants

≈ 800

species of birds and mammals

≈ 230

species of reptiles and amphibians

> 100,000

invertebrate species

Particularly the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea are rich in species numbers and many species are found only there. The Mediterranean Basin is considered a global biodiversity hotspot. The norther part of Europe is home to fewer species, some still unique to Europe.

The IUCN has assessed the threat status of selected species on behalf of the European Commission. To date, more than 15,000 species have been assessed on the European Red List, including all vertebrate species (mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and fishes), terrestrial and aquatic molluscs, dragonflies, butterflies, bees, grasshoppers, crickets and bush-crickets, freshwater molluscs, trees, medicinal plants, bryophytes, and pteridophytes (ferns and lycopods), and a selection of saproxylic beetles, endemic shrubs, and other selected vascular plants. The links to the reports are available in the Related resources paragraph.

Know more about the species

Explore EUNIS
the European
Nature Information System

EUNIS provides information on species mentioned in the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the Bern Convention), other international species protection instruments or assessed in the European Red Lists. Go to Eunis

European Red List (European Commission page)
European Red List (European Commission page)
Habitats and species: latest status and trends
Habitats and species: latest status and trends