Status and trends of the UK's natural environment
The status of the UK’s natural environment and trends in status
changes underpin most of JNCC’s work. That includes the advice we
give, the evidence we produce, the reporting we do and the
priorities we set for ourselves. Traditionally, trends have been
calculated to identify changes in the distribution, extent, status
or quality of species and habitats. The task relies heavily on the
results from surveillance and monitoring schemes and biological
Where possible the causes of trends are also explored as a means
of measuring and addressing environmental pressures. Increasingly,
there is also a growing demand for information on changes in
ecosystem services (the benefits provided by the natural
environment for human well-being) and a desire to have the trends
in those services expressed in economic terms.
The status of species is measured by monitoring and surveillance
schemes. It is usually expressed in terms of distribution or
population size. Habitat status focuses on extent and quality.
Ecosystem services are most usefully measured in economically or
socially relevant units. The status of species and habitats is also
often highlighted by listing or designation processes, which give a
status to a species or habitat due to a combination of threat and
rarity. We maintain a register of conservation status designations
and are involved in various aspects of this work.
The status and trends of species and habitats also provide
building blocks that are used to support UK’s commitment to
outcome-oriented reporting and assessment. They form the basis of
UK and country biodiversity indicators, evidence reports, reports
in response to UK reporting obligations and advice.