A Red List for ecosystems and habitats is a collection of assessments of the likelihood that a nature type will be lost from Norway or that it will be so degraded that it loses its function.

The Red List assessments included in the “Norwegian Red List for Ecosystems and Habitat Types 2011” represent a pioneering effort in a Norwegian context, because they represent the first time that ecosystems and habitats have been assessed in this way. The assessments have relied on the Centre’s experience in creating the Red List for species and on international experience with Red List assessments of habitats and ecosystems.

The risk assessments

The risk assessments have been conducted by an expert group commissioned by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre. This group used the Centre’s “Nature Types in Norway” classification system as a foundation for the assessments, and selected nature types for which a risk assessment was feasible.

The assessment of each nature type was undertaken using a set of criteria that is specifically designed for the purpose, and that considers four factors that are known to increase the risk that a nature type will be lost or degraded.

The four criteria are:

1. Reduction in area

2. Limited number of localities, compounded by loss of area

3. Very few localities

4. Reduction in state

Red List assessments are based on quantitative methods, meaning that there should be numerical changes in one or more of the four factors, and a direct analysis of risks. However, just a few nature types have this kind of quantitative information available. In the absence of more specific information, the experts used multiple sources of relevant information to make a reasonable assessment.

The assessments are made on the basis of the nature type’s development to the present along with possible future developments. The window of time used for the assessment period is 50 years.

Documentation and availability

It is required that all assessments conducted for the purposes of the Red List of Ecosystems and Habitat Types must be documented, and that this documentation be publicly available.

You can find the information and reasoning that formed the underpinnings of the assessment results at this web portal, which is in Norwegian.