The importance of setting Favourable Reference Values (FRVs)

The importance of setting Favourable Reference Values (FRVs)

To assess the conservation status under the Habitats Directive, Member States are encouraged to define FRVs for the range of habitat types and species (FRR), for area of habitat types (FRA) and for population size of species (FRP). FRVs are key reference levels to determine when Favourable Conservation Status is being achieved for species and habitats listed under the Habitats Directive. Similar concepts apply to the Birds Directive even though they are spelled out less clearly and different terms are used.

Even though FRVs are essential elements to determine when FCS is reached, the latest reporting under Article 17 (2013 – 2018) has shown that they are still poorly used and often inconsistently applied across Member States. For instance, only for 9 out of 45 wolf assessments the FRP has been defined where Member States used either ´individuals` or ´10×10 km grid` as a unit.

Especially for Large Carnivores, the concept of FRVs is essential to provide a robust benchmark for a minimum population size in order to assess the conservation status and the effectiveness of conservation and management measures.

Please find the full report here.

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