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Dieren en planten

Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Nature policy   Red Lists   

Red Lists

Red Lists are lists containing plant and animal species which are being threatened in their existence. The Red Lists are regularly revised, often times once every ten years. There are lists for various groups of species, such as birds, mammals, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians, crickets and grasshoppers, freshwater fish, toadstools and lichens. In addition to the threatened species, the Red List contains protective measures to help these species recover in number. The goal is to decrease the number of species on the list in the following publication. Because a Red List has no legal status, the threatened species are included in the Flora and Fauna Act.

  • Sensitive, vulnerable, threatened, endangered or extinct

    A plant or animal species is added to the Red List if it is rare and the population is declining. If a species is very rare and its population is strongly declining, this species will most likely disappear in the Netherlands. The rareness and decline is tested based upon inventories, whereby the whole country is divided into 'hour squares' (a defined area 5x5 kilometers, walkable in an hour). The degree of rareness and decline of a species determines in which Red List category it is placed: sensitive, vulnerable, threatened, endangered or extinct.

  • Cormorants and sparrows

    The cormorant is an example of a species which profited from the Red List. Since 1985, this bird was on the list of threatened birds in the Netherlands. However the colonies particularly around the IJsselmeer have grown so large that the bird has been removed from the list since 1994. The IJsselmeer fishermen now speak of a cormorant plague.

    The house sparrow was added to the Red List in 2004. According to the Bird Society, the large decline in the number of house sparrows in the Netherlands is because the Dutch are too tidy. Houses are so well insulated that the sparrows can't find any cracks or openings to nest in.

  • Not legally protected

    Species on the Red List have no legal protection. Legally, the government is committed to the protection of these species and to promote research for this purpose. It is expected that provinces, municipalities and organizations that manage terrains take Red Lists into consideration when making policy and during management.