Collation of EUNIS habitat maps


The Data page summarises the composite datasets that JNCC maintain and where to find them, below is a description of the three main EUNIS-based data products published by JNCC.


Click to view in an interactive map

EUNIS habitats: maps from surveys


To aid the conservation work of JNCC and the statutory nature conservation bodies, JNCC collates and standardises habitat maps in the UK and makes them freely available to view and download online. These may be created by a range of public, private and not-for-profit organisations and exist at a range of spatial, temporal and thematic scales. When possible, habitat maps are standardised by translating into the EUNIS habitat classification system and formatting according to the EMODnet Seabed Habitats Translated Habitat Data Exchange Format. From this standard classification system we are then able to extract data related to priority habitats such as Habitats Directive Annex I habitats and OSPAR threatened and/or declining habitats.

These maps are available to view and download as single datasets from the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive map. Click on the map to the right to go straight to this layer on the mapper.


EUNIS habitats: broad-scale full-coverage model


Click to view EUSeaMap2016 in the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive map

The collection of local habitat maps from surveys (described above) has a patchy distribution and a variety of scales. To allow national and regional assessments to be made, JNCC has taken part in and led on projects to produce broad-scale EUNIS habitat maps that cover the entire UK seabed that are consistent in spatial and thematic scale. The method overlays multiple models of physical parameters such as light, energy and seabed substrate and matches combinations of physical parameters to physical EUNIS habitat descriptions (levels 3 and 4 of the hierarchy).

The most recent initiative to produce such a map was phase 2 of EMODnet Seabed Habitats, creating a broad-scale seabed habitat map for all European waters (known in short as "EUSeaMap2016"). Phase 2 (2013-2016) built on work completed under phase 1 (2009-2012) and improved the underlying data and methods to create the map whilst extend its coverage to all European Union waters.

This map and its input data layers are available to view and download from the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive map. Click on the map to the right to go straight to this layer on the mapper.


EUNIS habitats: full-coverage EUNIS level 3 layer integrating maps from surveys and broad-scale models

Combined EUNIS Level 3 habitat map

In some cases, a full-coverage map is required that displays the best available data everywhere, at the expense of consistency. The production of such a product showing EUNIS level 3 habitats, as required for Marine Protected Area network assessments, involved creating a set of rules that selected the most reliable EUNIS level 3 habitat data at any location, be it from a map from a survey (described at the top of this page) or the latest broad-scale predicted map, EUSeaMap (described above). The following documents provide more information about the approach taken:


The GIS data are available on request, please for further information.