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Six selected habitat types

Target

1.2 No species or habitat types will become extinct or be lost, and the status of threatened and near-threatened species and habitat types will be improved.

Indicator

Number of selected habitat types in the following major ecosystems: marine and coastal waters, rivers and lakes, wetlands, forest, mountains and cultural landscapes

Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

So far, six selected habitat types have been designated – traditional hay meadows, mires/fens traditionally used for haymaking, calcareous lakes, calcareous lime forest, hollow oak trees and coastal heaths. They support a wide variety of plant and animal species, and sustainable use of these areas can play an important part in safeguarding biodiversity. 

Where do we find the selected habitat types? 

  • Rivers and lakes: calcareous lakes 
  • Wetlands: mires/fens traditionally used for haymaking 
  • Forest: calcareous lime forest 
  • Cultural landscapes: traditional hay meadows (including wooded hay meadows), hollow oak trees and coastal heaths 

The Nature Diversity Act provides the legal authority to designated selected habitat types. The idea is to safeguard endangered and vulnerable habitats through active management and sustainable use. In deciding whether to include a habitat type in the system, the authorities look particularly at whether it meets some or all of the following criteria: 

  • its ecological status is poor or it is showing negative trends, which is contrary to the management objective for ecosystems and habitats in section 4 of the Act (for example, there is a risk that the habitat type will be lost);  
  • it is important for one or more priority species; 
  • a significant proportion of the natural range of the habitat type is within Norway; 
  • there are international obligations that apply to the habitat type. 

Management of selected habitat types 

Action plans are being drawn up to provide further guidelines for the management of each selected habitat type and for other measures to safeguard them. County management groups have been established to carry out practical management measures and ensure that there is close coordination between the environmental and agricultural authorities. National coordinators have been appointed to ensure that management is scientifically sound and that the same principles are followed throughout the country. 

More habitat types are being assessed 

The work of identifying selected habitat types is continuing. Some habitat types that are being assessed for inclusion in the system are: 

  • Marine and coastal waters: eelgrass beds 
  • Forest: rich swamp forests, calcareous forests and coastal Scots pine forest. These include several forest habitats that have been classified as threatened.
  • Cultural landscapes: agrarian woodland, semi-natural pastures and tidal meadows.