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European Red List of Vascular Plants published

25 November 2011

Numerous scientific studies show that biodiversity in Europe has been declining rapidly for some time during periods of expansion and intensification of land use. The reporting process under Article 17 of the EU Habitats Directive underlines this fact as most species and habitats of community interest are still not under a favourable conservation status.

Regional European Red Lists are another important tool to scientifically assess and communicate the status of species. They usefully complement the reporting under the Habitats Directive as they usually address all species in a specific taxonomic group, not just those protected by EU legislation. They hence give important complementary and comprehensive information about the situation of biodiversity in Europe.

This first assessment of Europe’s Vascular Plants has assessed 1,826 species which covers around 8% of Europe’s flora.. The assessment comprises three groups:

  • Plants included in European and international policy instruments, such as the Habitats Directive, Bern Convention, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation
  • Selected priority crop wild relatives,
  • Aquatic plant species present in Europe.

The assessment shows us that at least 467 of these species are threatened.

The publication was prepared by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and is published by the European Commission:

Download a PDF of the publication here:

Bilz, M., Kell, S.P., Maxted, N. and Lansdown, R.V. 2011. European Red List of Vascular Plants. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Available from: Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union,
IUCN Publications Services,

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