AL9 Directive alpine species
Habitats Directive species
The EU Habitats Directive includes 14 species which occur primarily in alpine habitats. One of these species, Arctic Marsh Sedge, can also be found in the boreal region where its conservation status was evaluated as favourable. The rest of the species are restricted to the alpine region.
The conservation status of most (9) of the Habitats Directive's alpine species has been evaluated as favourable. These species, which include two mammals, three butterflies, and four vascular plants are generally well protected within the existing protected areas. While the distribution area of the mammals Wolverine and Arctic Hare is large, the other species are local and mainly restricted to the northwestern fells with calcareous soils.
The status of two species, Arctic Fox and Wall Hawk's-beard, was evaluated as unfavourable-bad. The state of the Arctic Fox population is the most critical and is likely to weaken even further in the future. The population has been decreasing since the 1980s and the latest reported breeding occurred more than ten years ago. Based on actual sightings of the species, the Arctic Fox population has been estimated to consist of only five individuals.
One of the most important reasons for the decline of the Arctic Fox population is the spreading of competing species Red Fox into the alpine region. In addition, changes in reindeer husbandry and the weakening of vole population cycles have decreased the amount of food available to Arctic Foxes.
Wall Hawk's-beard occurs in the alpine region only in Kevo strict nature reserve. The population has decreased because its habitats have become more grass dominated. Dry summers have also weakened the state of Wall Hawk's-beard's habitats.
The conservation status of the moss Encalypta mutica was assessed as unfavourable-inadequate because its population size is so small that the risk of extinction due to random events has increased. For the two other moss species, full assessment has not been possible, due to insufficient knowledge.
- Updated (14.05.2013)