The garden dormouse, bogbean and pale bolete – these are only three out of thousands of animal, plant and fungi species that are endangered in Germany. The 'Red Lists' provide information on threatened organisms such as these. With differentiated information about the conservation status of each species, they are able to show where the most urgent action is needed to preserve biological diversity in Germany. In Germany, the 'Red Lists' are published by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), which has created a new coordination centre and awarded the contract for its establishment and operation to the DLR project management agency (DLR-PT). The aim of the 'Red List Centre' is to support experts in their work and to further develop the index according to its own standards.
Strengthening expert volunteers
In Germany, a large proportion of the systematic data collection on the distribution, prevalence and population changes of native animal, plant and fungi species is carried out by dedicated volunteers. Many of them have scientific training and are experienced experts in their fields. The collection and distribution of the fundamental data for the index is often performed without a commission and in their spare time. Without this activity, up to date and well-founded 'Red Lists' could not currently be created. In future, the experts will be suitably rewarded, at least for the publication of their contributions. The new centre will support the authors not only in technical and organisational terms. It will also help them organise meetings, advise them on hazard analysis, and undertake editorial work. This will enable the staff at the centre to ensure the uniform application of methodological standards and to ensure that the results are presented in a transparent and consistent manner. In the future, scientifically sound expert reports will be readable by and relevant to the widest possible audience.
The garden dormouse population has greatly reduced. This is not an isolated case, as is shown by the 'Red Lists of Animals, Plants and Fungi of Germany'.
Source: Adobe Stock – Martin
Another activity of the 'Red List Centre', established by the DLR-PT, is the organisation of larger conferences for scientific exchange, as well as networking between scientific associations, nature protection associations, state authorities and international organisations. These institutions also often create their own 'Red Lists' – partially on a regional or international scale. This should help to qualitatively strengthen the expert reports as 'seismographs' of biodiversity and to strengthen the argument for the protection of species.
Well connected and experienced
The DLR-PT has already been active for many years with its experts in the field of species protection and biological diversity. The core personnel at the new centre are comprised of biologists, often with many years of 'Red List' experience, as well as experts in IT, public relations, graphics and administration. The team has already proven its high level of expertise with a three-year preparatory project undertaken for the BfN (2016-2018).
Contact person at DLR-PT:
as of December 2017