UKBAP logoUK BAP priority species


UK BAP priority species were those that were identified as being the most threatened and requiring conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).  The original list of UK BAP priority species was created between 1995 and 1999.  In 2007, however, a revised list was produced, following a 2-year review of UK BAP processes and priorities, which included a review of the priority species and habitats lists (see the Species and Habitats Review Report (2007) (PDF, 1.3Mb) for more information).  Following the review, the list of UK BAP priority species increased from less than 600 to 1,150. 

As a result of devolution, and new country-level and international drivers and requirements, much of the work previously carried out by the UK BAP is now focussed at a country-level rather than a UK-level, and the UK BAP was succeeded by the 'UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework' in July 2012.  The UK list of priority species, however, remains an important reference source and has been used to help draw up statutory lists of priority species in England, ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland, as required under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (England), Section 7 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, Section 2(4) of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, and Section 3(1) of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

The UK BAP list of priority species can be viewed in the Priority Lists Spreadsheet, which also contains details of priority habitats.  Alternatively, it can be viewed by major taxonomic group:
Fungi (including lichens)
Terrestrial Mammals
Terrestrial Invertebrates
Non-vascular plants
Vascular plants
Marine-only species

Species are listed alphabetically by current scientific name.  Additional information provided includes common names, and known occurrence in the four countries of the UK.  Current scientific names and commonly used synonyms derive from the Nameserver facility of the UK Species Dictionary, which is managed by the Natural History Museum.  This provides a controlled taxonomy that follows the advice of leading UK experts, and also ensures that the naming used is compatible with other resources.  More detailed information about the taxonomy, and distribution (including searchable maps of the UK), of these species can be found on the NBN Gateway.


Selection of the 2007 UK BAP priority species list

Selection of UK species for the priority list generated in 2007 followed consideration by expert working groups against a set of selection criteria, based on international importance, rapid decline and high risk.  Additional information is available on the selection criteria spreadsheet, which describes the criteria used in more detail, and provides the details and justifications for the selection of each individual priority species.

The original UK BAP list of priority species was created between 1995 and 1999, and the original number of priority species, listed in Species Action Plans (including grouped plans) and Species Statements, was reported to be 577.  Most of the species from the original list were carried over into the 2007 list, but some were not, due to changes in status or classification criteria.  In total, 123 species no longer met the criteria for selection, and were therefore de-listed.  In many cases, this was due to conservation action: for example, species such as the Devil's bolete (Boletus satanas) and the Killarney Fern (Trichornanes speciosum) were removed from the list because of successful conservation effort.  The Species and Habitats Review Report (2007) (PDF, 1.3Mb) describes the processes used to produce the list, and the de-listing spreadsheet contains the details of the species which were de-listed and the reasons why.


Species Action Plans (SAPs)

For all species on the original priority species list, produced between 1995 and 1999, a Species Action Plan (SAP), or a Species Statement was created.  By 1999, 391 SAPs (including 11 grouped action plans), and 104 Species Statements were created, and the total number of priority species was reported to be 577.

116 SAPs and 14 HAPs were published in 1995, in Tranche 1, 'Biodiversity: the UK Steering Group Report: Volume 2: Action Plans' (PDF, 1.2Mb).  The remaining SAPs and HAPs were published in Tranche 2, which was divided into six volumes and published between 1998 and 1999:
Volume 1 (1998): Vertebrates and Vascular Plants (PDF, 964kb)
Volume 2 (1998): Terrestrial and Freshwater Habitats (PDF, 718kb)
Volume 3 (1998): Plants and Fungi (PDF, 1.2Mb)
Volume 4 (1998): Invertebrates (PDF, 1.4Mb)
Volume 5 (1999): Maritime Species and Habitats (PDF, 2.4Mb)
Volume 6 (1999): Terrestrial and Freshwater Species and Habitats (PDF, 535kb)

These SAPs were created over 10 years ago, and therefore do not necessarily give the most recent representation of the status of a species, or any potential conservation needs.  For the species added to the priority species list in 2007 (nearly 600 new species), no UK action plans have been, or will be, produced, as conservation action is now primarily being carried out at a country-level, rather than a UK-level, in response to the generation of country-level biodiversity strategies and aims. 

The list of priority species, and the taxonomic tables, can be used to establish if a species is 'new' (added in 2007), or 'original', as only original (pre-2007) species will have a SAP, a Species Statement, or be included within a grouped action plan.  Details of the Species Action Plans (SAPs), can be found on the original (archived) UK BAP website, or on the BARS 1 website, which was closed to editing in April 2012 following the launch of BARS 2.


UK BAP priority species accounts

JNCC has collated information from a number of sources for all of the 1,150 UK BAP priority species listed in 2007, to create reports, or 'species accounts'.  All of the information available in these 'species accounts' has already been published on the JNCC website, the NBN Gateway, or the BARS 1 website.  The aim of the collation is to bring together all of the data available about each species into a single report and therefore to make the evidence more accessible.  Further information can be found on the 'Priority species accounts' page.