Article 11 of the Habitats Directive requires Member States to monitor the habitats and species listed in the annexes (habitats in the Annex I and species in the Annexes II, IV and V), and Article 17 requires a report to be sent to the European Commission every 6 years following an agreed format. The core of the ‘Article 17’ report is assessment of conservation status of the habitats and species targeted by the directive. The assessment is made based on information on status and trends of species populations or habitats and on information on main pressures and threats. The report for the period 2007-2012 contained also information related to the impact of the Natura 2000 network and conservation measures. An important component of the Article 17 report is a map of habitat or species distribution mapped in 10x10 km grid.
The Article 17 reports prepared by Member States have three sections; (i) general information about the implementation of the Directive, (ii) the assessments of conservation status of species, and (iii) of habitats. The Article 17 reporting covers the habitats and species in the whole territory of the Member State concerned, not only those within Natura 2000 sites.
Conservation status is assessed using a standard methodology as being either ‘favourable’, ‘unfavourable-inadequate’ and ‘unfavourable-bad’, based on four parameters as defined in Article 1 of the Directive. The parameters for habitats are range, area, structure and functions and future prospects and for species they are range, population, habitat of species and future prospects. The conservation status of each habitat and species is assessed separately for each biogeographical or marine region in which it occurs.
The documents related to methods of the assessment of conservation status at the Member States level can be accessed through the Article 17 Reference portal.
The EU biogeographical conservation status for habitats and species per each biogeographical or marine region was assessed by combining the Member State data or by weighting the Member State assessments. If possible, the combined data (for example on population) were used directly to assess the status in the same way as for the Member State assessments. For some parameters, or if data were incomplete, it was not possible to make the biogeographical assessment using the combined data and the overall assessment of conservation status for each biogeographical or marine region was made by weighting the Member States assessments to reflect the status and proportion of the habitat type or species present in each Member State. As at the Member State level the EU biogeographical conservation status is assessed as being either ‘favourable’, ‘unfavourable - inadequate’ or ‘unfavourable - bad’.
The methods for the assessment of conservation status at the EU biogeographical level are described here.
The reports for the period 2001-2006 were the first to include assessments on the conservation status of the habitat types and species of Community interest.