Mapping habitats on the OSPAR List of Threatened and/or Declining Species and Habitats

Access the data on distribution of habitats on the OSPAR List of Threatened and/or Declining Species and Habitats

At its Biodiversity Committee (BDC) meeting in 2003, OSPAR agreed to proceed with a programme to collate existing data on the distribution of the fourteen habitats on this list, as part of a wider programme to develop measures for their protection and conservation. BDC 2004 agreed on working definitions for each habitat type for the purposes of this mapping programme, later updated in 2008. Case reports on each habitat type were published by OSPAR in 2004 (updated 2008).

Each OSPAR Contracting Party agreed to compile the relevant data for its own marine waters and submit these to the lead country (UK) for collation into composite maps on the distribution of each habitat type across the whole OSPAR area. The work has been coordinated by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

Data coverage: The data available to date provide an initial indication of the distribution of each OSPAR priority habitat type; further data will be added as it becomes available. The maps are not yet considered to be comprehensive for the OSPAR area as a whole and may not be comprehensive within any given Contracting Party’s waters. The following table provides a summary of the coverage of data for the distribution of listed habitats within the OSPAR area.

Table 1 Summary, by Contracting Party and for the high seas, of the distribution of listed habitats within the OSPAR area (last updated February 2014), indicating where:

data have been supplied for the listed habitat (not necessarily by the respective Contracting Party);
the listed habitat has not been reported as being present in the Contracting Parties’ waters or the high seas (either currently or in the past);
P the habitat has been reported as being present in the Contracting Parties’ waters but no data have been supplied
Ex the habitat has been reported as having occurred in the Contracting Parties’ waters in the past but is now considered to be extinct.

BEDKFRDEISIENLNOPTESSEUKHigh seas
Carbonate moundsP
Coral gardens
Cymodocea meadowsP
Deep-sea sponge aggregations
Intertidal mudflatsP
Intertidal Mytilus edulis beds on mixed and sandy sedimentsPPPP
Littoral chalk communitiesEx
Lophelia pertusa reefs
Maerl bedsPP
Modiolus modiolus bedsPP
Ostrea edulis bedsExPExExPP
Sabellaria spinulosa reefsExPP
Sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communitiesPPP
Oceanic ridges with hydrothermal vents/fieldsPP
SeamountsP
Zostera bedsPP

Additional data: any additional data to further improve the maps would be most welcome and should be submitted via the relevant Contracting Party. Please contact the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (OSPARmapping@jncc.gov.uk) if you wish to submit further data or have other comments.

Disclaimer: The Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the contents of the maps. Efforts have been made to ensure that the information given is as accurate as possible, but it is not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up-to-date. This disclaimer is not intended to limit the liability of the Commission contrary to any obligations imposed by applicable national law nor to exclude liability for matters which may not be excluded under that law.