The balance of different types of plants, animals and other species is vital to a healthy, functioning ecosystem. Loss of diversity matters because it is the way different organisms interact that helps regulate many natural and essential processes, like the growth cycles of plants, the mating seasons of animals and weather systems.


The conservation of species forms an important part of the biodiversity strategies of the countries in the UK. JNCC plays an important co-ordination role by providing advice on species conservation. It is delivered mainly through a number of inter-agency groups that are made up of specialists drawn from Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Countryside Council for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.


We also engage with conservation-orientated non-governmental organisations and specialist societies as well as having a number of statutory responsibilities in the area of species conservation. Find out more about species conservation in the UK.


  • Species designations - We maintain a collation of UK species designations, which is available to download as a spreadsheet.
  • Species surveillance - JNCC spends more than £1 million a year on surveillance of species working in partnership with other organisations.
  • NBN Gateway - Species distribution data are available via the NBN Gateway.
  • UK BAP species – Further information about the list of UK BAP priority species is available on the UK BAP priority species webpages