Forest habitats

The conservation of natural habitats aims to promote the maintenance of biodiversity. Protecting habitats forms the cornerstone of Europe’s nature conservation policy.

Forests are the dominant protected habitat type in Europe. About 34% of the Annex I Habitats (0.5 million km2) is covered by forests, more than any other habitat type (grasslands, dunes, and bogs, mires and fens habitats).

Share of Annex I protected habitat types in 2018, million ha

The majority of Europe's protected habitats is forests (29%).


State of nature in forest habitats

The vast majority of the Annex I forest habitats do not meet their conservation targets. Assessments show that the state of nature of EU forest habitats is deteriorating, as is the case worldwide. Almost 85% of the protected forest habitats are not in good conservation status.

Conservation status for the forest habitat in EU28 in 2018, in percentage


Trend in conservation status of forest habitats in 2018, in percentage

Forest habitats exhibit the highest proportion of improving trends among the assessments (13%)


Conservation status of forest habitats for each biogeographical region in EU28 in 2018, in percentage