Natura 2000 is an ecological network of protected areas, set up to ensure the survival of Europe’s most valuable species and habitats. Natura 2000 is based on the 1992 Habitats Directive, but also incorporates sites designated under the 1979 Birds Directive.
Accordingly, idividual sites can be designated either under the Birds Directive (SPAs – displayed with red hatching), under the Habitats Directive (pSCIs/SCIs/SACs – displayed with blue hatching) or under both directives (displayed both with red and blue hatching).
The Natura 2000 network currently encompasses over 27,300 individual sites, altogether covering an area of more than 1.1 million square kilometres. This corresponds to 18% of the European land area of the 28 EU Member states, and ca. 4% of their European marine area.