N. Koroleva Habitat Directive needs special group of Tundra (Arctic) habitats

Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden-Institute, Kola Science Center of Russian Academy of Sciences, 184250, Kirovsk, Russia. E-mail:

Protection of habitats is a part of the Arctic nature conservation and is important as well for realization of national programs on biodiversity conservation, as for effective nature protection at both European and circumpolar scale. Russia (and its arctic territories) has great input in the area of global environmental services, due to high proportion of pristine and almost pristine landscapes and ecosystems. Notable efforts are undertaken both on the local level (Red Lists for Ecosystems and Habitat Types) and regional and European (NATURA and Pan-European Emerald Network). But still in the Berne Convention there is not special group of tundra (Arctic) habitats; neither value endangered habitats in the Arctic nor special features and principles of Arctic Ecological Network are yet established. This could be explained by the fact, that among participating countries of Berne Convention there are not any countries, except Norway, with well-expressed tundra zone. Nowadays, the group of tundra (Arctic) habitats is dispersed between several groups: group B (Coastal habitats); group F (dwarf shrubs, heathlands and scrub communities in mountains of boreal and temperate zones); groups D (mires, bogs and fens); group E (grasslands and lands dominated by forbs, mosses or lichens); group X (Habitat complexes). Some of them are too broad and consequently have uncertain definition and interpretation, and that makes difficult to implement these habitat types on practice of wildlife protection in the Arctic. To support networks of territories important for the biodiversity conservation in the Arctic we need to establish and elaborate special group of Tundra (Arctic) habitats in the list of value and threatened habitats of Europe.

Last modified: August 25, 2015