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Natura 2000 for Young People

That’s what Natura 2000 is all about

Natura 2000 is a coherent network of more than 27,000 protected areas throughout Europe. All these sites together cover about one fifth of the EU’s territory. This makes Natura 2000 the largest biodiversity protection project in the world. Natura 2000 sites are individual sites in nature.

These sites are important habitats for rare animal and plant species in Europe and are therefore protected by the European Union. Natura 2000 sites include protected areas for birds (bird sanctuaries) and areas that are rare natural habitats for other wildlife and plants. These are called FFH areas. The abbreviation FFH stands for Fauna-Flora-Habitate.

Fauna: these are the animals that live in a Natura 2000 area.

Flora: these are the plants that live in a Natura 2000 area.

Habitat: This is the place in which a plant or animal lives.

An orange butterfly sitting on a flower.
Natura 2000 is the biggest project for the preservation of biodiversity worldwide.

Learn and experience more

Learn more about the location of Natura 2000 sites in the Natura 2000 Network Viewer. You will also find an overview of Natura 2000 habitats and animal and plant species.

Learn more about the Natura 2000 student campaign and the exciting story of Fritz the Partridge:

Or become a species detective and test your knowledge in the Natura 2000 species quiz!

A woman holds a poster showing a partridge.
In great actions about 300 pupils learned how important protected areas are for all kinds of animal species. Design: Lisa Mitterbuchner, Mockup: Freepik

Find Natura 2000 sites in Bavaria

Bavaria also has a large number of Natura 2000 areas that you can discover. Click on the map and discover the FFH and bird sanctuaries. Click on the link below and discover more FFH areas in Bavaria:

The map shows Natura 2000-areas in Bavaria.

What needs to be taken into account in Natura 2000 sites?

Bavaria’s rich, diverse natural environment and its preservation as the basis of life for future generations is what moves people in Bavaria. Natura 2000 was created more than 25 years ago as a European project in the course of the Rio de Janeiro World Summit. It is the most important nature conservation instrument in the European Union and, as a unique ecological network, aims to preserve our valuable natural capital.

European hamster Cricetus cricetus in its nest.
European hamster Cricetus cricetus. Photographer: Helmut Heimpel.

Natura 2000 guarantees that the most beautiful Bavarian landscapes with their diversity are preserved and that they are managed or cared for in a sustainable way. Natura 2000 protects our attractive living environment. Natura 2000 areas offer recreation and nature enjoyment.

Natura 2000 protects everything that makes up our lives. The world’s largest nature conservation project preserves our Bavarian landscape, our animal and plant diversity. As a result, many small and large successes have already been achieved.

Picture of a woman drinking from a river. Picture links to YouTube-Video.
Natura 2000 is an EU-wide network of protected areas. This video explains more about Natura 2000.

Who takes care of Natura 2000 sites?

The protected areas are intended to provide a safe home for many animal and plant species. For this to be the case, someone must take care of the areas. This is done by nature conservation experts. In Bavaria, so-called area managers help with this.

Picture of the Natura 2000 Logo in front of a forest backdrop linking to a YouTube video explaining Natura 2000 (DE).
Protection for beavers and wildcats, for streams and beech forests, protection of wild plants and wild animals on land, in water, in the air and throughout Europe - this is what Natura 2000 does.

What is actually being done in Natura 2000 areas?

For each Natura 2000 site there is an established plan. This plan sets out how the area must be maintained so that it is a good habitat for the wild animal and plant species that live there.

The plans propose and present habitat improvements. The nature conservation experts will then know which habitat and which animal or plant species must be protected in the Natura 2000 area.

Illustration of 4 people, a sheep and a beaver linking to a YouTube Video explaining Natura 2000 (DE).
The film shows the dimension, the history and the idea behind Natura 2000 and shows the process of management planning.

Do we really need the Natura 2000 areas?

Many people think that it would be better not to protect the Natura 2000 areas and instead build roads, buildings or ski resorts there. That’s how you could earn money. There are even groups of people who want to abolish Natura 2000. This would endanger the habitat of many animal and plant species.

We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that this does not happen and that the Natura 2000 network of protected areas is preserved in Europe. Although Europe covers only about 5% of the surface of our planet, it is home to a unique variety of wildlife, plants and landscapes that are unique to this region and nowhere else in the world, such as the Abruzzo chamois, the brown bear, the European pond turtle, rare butterflies and the dormouse.

A man carrying a backpack bends down in a forest to take pictures of the surrounding nature.
Although Europe covers only about 5% of the surface of our planet, it is home to a unique diversity of wildlife, plants and landscapes. Photographer: Unsplash, Edward Virvel.

What is the purpose of Natura 2000?

All people living in EU countries, whether farmers, forest owners or nature lovers, together protect their nature in Europe. Animals, plants and their habitats are protected together so that everyone can experience the natural treasures of Europe!

Natura 2000 is good for nature and people: For nature lovers and all other people and for the animal and plant species in Europe. The EU states have committed themselves to protecting and preserving animals, plants and habitats so that all people can experience Europe’s natural treasures.

Picture of a person drawing on a map of Europe linking to a YouTube video explaining Natura 2000 (DE).
Natura 2000 connects! Gerhard Neuhauser from the Marchauen Forestry Administration asks and WWF employee Marion Schindlauer answers: Why the designation of many small protected areas all over Europe is vital for white storks, kites, sea eagles and the like.

Preserve the diversity of nature in Europe!

Biodiversity means a variety of natural life. So a variety of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms and a variety of habitats in which they occur. But also a diversity within a species. The more different habitats there are, the more animal and plant species there can be. If the habitat of a species disappears, the species can disappear forever.

All living beings on our earth are important and part of our nature. Nature and its diversity are very important for humans, because nature provides them with clean water, food, raw materials from which we can produce houses, clothing and much more. Therefore, nature with all living beings is not only exciting and beautiful, but it is also our basis of life. In Europe alone there are over 130,000 species of land animals. We must preserve this diversity!

Close-up picture of a black stork.
The Black Stork is part of Europe's biodiversity. Photographer: Martin Kreuels

Natura 2000 für…

Die ehemalige Bayerische Umweltministerin Ulrike Scharf hält eine Festansprache am Natura 2000-Gipfel in Schloss Nymphenburg am 29. Januar 2018.

who, with their networks and goals as well as their commitment, are already accompanying the implementation of Natura 2000.

Ein Landwirt hat einen Salat in der Hand. Im Hintergrund sind Hühner zu sehen.

who have both the economic interests and the objectives of Natura 2000 in mind.

which also represents Natura 2000 in balance with other interests and appreciate its added value.

who play a key role in the positive image of the Natura 2000 network and experience nature up close.