Home Content Area
Worldwide, around 100 species disappear every day. Red Lists, which highlight the species in need of conservation action, are an important instrument in biodiversity protection efforts.
Worldwide, according to the IUCN, more than 16,000 species of animals and plants are threatened by extinction. In Switzerland alone, 224 animal and plant species have become or are presumed to have become extinct over the last 150 years. Since 1960, the rate of human-induced extinction has clearly exceeded the natural rate.
Today, 40% of the animal species evaluated in this country are included on the Red List. Almost a third (34%) of our flowering plants and ferns have disappeared or are threatened, and for bryophytes and lichens the proportion is 42% and 41%.
|Species group||Red List species|
|Breeding birds||39 %|
|Fish and cyclostomes||58 %|
|Ferns and flowering plants||31 %|
|Swiss flora & fauna||36 %|
If species that are "near threatened" are also taken into account, the proportion of Switzerland's flora and fauna requiring support rises to 50%.
The continuing decline in species diversity is attributable to various factors:
In view of the pressure they exert on native biotic communities, invasive alien plant and animal species are no longer evaluated in the Red Lists (e.g. Ambrosia artemisiifolia, included in the Red List of Vascular Plants, 2002).
In contrast to Red Lists, Blue Lists record species whose populations have stabilized or increased thanks to the application of nature conservation techniques over the past 10-15 years. These lists are only available for the cantons of Argau, Schaffhausen and Zurich. Of 641 plant species assessed, a quarter showed stabilization, while a tenth showed increased abundance - mainly as a result of appropriate conservation measures.
Red lists are an important tool to assess the value of a biotope:
Since 1991, Red Lists have been enshrined in the Nature and Cultural Heritage Protection Ordinance. Reference is made to them in particular for the designation of biotopes meriting protection.
In the Swiss Landscape Concept, the sectoral objectives for the protection of nature, landscape and cultural heritage specify that:
End Content Area