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 1 protected habitat types in 2018, Mha

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


Area coverage trends for habitats in EU28 in 2018, %


Conservation status per habitat group in EU28 in 2018, %

Only 14% of the Annex 1 forest habitats are in good conservation status


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, %


Trend in conservation status of forest habitats in 2018, %

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, %


Conservation status trends for habitats not in good status at EU28 in 2018, %


Conservation status trends for habitats not in good status per habitat group at EU28 in 2018, %


Count of forest habitat and species richness by biogeographic region and country

The boxplots below show the distribution of habitat and species count data within protected areas by biogeographic region and member state. Data has not been normalised by Natura 2000 surface area to maintain absolute numbers.