The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre is responsible for the “Norwegian Red List for Ecosystems and Habitat Types”, which assesses the risks that ecosystems and habitat types may disappear from Norway.

The 2011 edition of this publication contains the first-ever Red List for ecosystems and habitat types in Norway. It is primarily designed to give decision makers a better knowledge base for their work with biodiversity. However, it is important to be aware that the determination of such a risk is one of several knowledge inputs in a national management of ecosystems.

The work of creating the 2011 Red List is based on “Nature Types in Norway”, the Biodiversity Information Centre’s system for classifying ecosystems and habitats into "nature types". The red list assessments are thus made using a quantitative set of criteria for assessing the risk that specific nature types could disappear or be degraded.

The nature types that are named in the Red List have been placed in one of the following six categories:

  • Disappeared (RE)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Data Deficient (DD)

Only types that are assessed as falling under the categories of critically endangered (CR), endangered (EN) or vulnerable (VU) are defined as being threatened. In total, 40 types are classified as threatened (CR, EN and VU), while 31 are classified as near threatened (NT) and 9 as Data deficient (DD).

International cooperation

While work on the Red List for Ecosystems and Habitat Types was underway, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) undertook a similar, parallel effort. The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre contributed its experience to help develop an international methodology for the red listing of ecosystems. The international effort was led by IUCN's “Commission on Ecosystem Management”.