The European Red List is a review of the conservation status of c. 6,000 European species (mammals, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fishes, butterflies, dragonflies, and selected groups of beetles, molluscs, and vascular plants) according to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) regional Red Listing guidelines. It identifies those species that are threatened with extinction at the European level – so that appropriate conservation action can be taken to improve their status. The European Red List is compiled by IUCN’s Species Programme, Species Survival Commission and Regional Office for Pan-Europe.
Comprehensive status assessments have already been completed for mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, dragonflies and saproxylic beetles. The assessment process is underway for other taxonomic groups, and it is anticipated that European Red Lists for molluscs, freshwater fish and vascular plants will be published in early 2011. The European Red List complements work done by BirdLife International to assess the status of all bird species at the European level.
European Redlist of Butterflies
These summary statistics and analyses are based on the European butterflies dataset published in March 2010.
The status of butterflies was assessed at two regional levels : geographical Europe and the EU27. At the European level, 8.5% of the species (37 species) are considered as threatened, with 0.7% of them being Critically Endangered, 2.8% Endangered and 5% Vulnerable (Table 3 and Figure 3 and 4). A further 10.1% is classified as Near Threatened. At the EU27, 7.1% of the butterflies (30 species) are threatened with extinction, of which 0.5% are Critically Endangered, 2.1% Endangered and 4.5% Vulnerable. In addition, 11.2% are considered as Near Threatened. One species is Regionally Extinct at the European level (Aricia hyacinthus) and an additional one is Regionally Extinct at the EU27 level : Tomares nogelii has disappeared from Romania and Moldova before 1999, but still occurs in Ukraine. The Madeiran Large White (Pieris wollastoni), restricted to the island of Madeira (Portugal), has not been reported since the 1970s despite several visits of lepidopterists to its former habitat. It is therefore considered as Critically Endangered, Possibly Extinct.
About a third (31%) of the European butterflies are considered to be declining. More than half (55%) of them seem to have stable populations, while only 4% are increasing. A further 10% have unknown populations trends.
By comparison, 23% of amphibians, 19% of reptiles, 15% of mammals and of dragonflies, 13% of birds and 11% of saproxylic beetles are threatened in Europe. No other groups have yet been assessed at the European level.
Forty-eight species were considered as Not Applicable, either due to their marginal occurrence in Europe or because they were introduced after AD 1500.
La Redlist of Butterflies est disponible (pdf) sur cette page, en cliquant dans la colonne de gauche sur : European Butterflies