Notes on interpreting legislative lists

 
The taxa listed for legislative reasons are in all cases included on either an annex or a schedule attached to either domestic or international legislation. In this sense "international legislation" includes certain international Conventions to which the UK Government is committed.
 
Where taxa are listed on an international legislative list, JNCC has excluded those species that have never naturally occurred within UK territorial limits. This filter for UK species should not however be regarded as definitive and as of April 2005, there is no mechanism applied to all taxonomic groups to keep this up to date, nor indeed to define what is meant by "naturally occurring".  For birds, we have used the list published by the British Ornithologists Union to define which of the birds are relevant to Britain.
 
There are a number of pieces of legislation that use a higher taxonomic level for designating species. For example, on Bern the Family Gruidae is listed and all species are included. We have attempted to identify what "taxa" this includes at the species level, so that we can build a picture for each species of all the designations that are relevant to it. This presents a number of difficulties in interpreting what species are actually protected. The legislation often does not give a clear indication of the taxonomic reference source; this sometimes makes it difficult to determine what species are protected and therefore it is entirely open to interpretation. For the species designations list, there are 80 higher level designations and these will have resulted in additional species being incorporated into the master list.
 
The following reference sources (and checklists) were used for enumerating the higher level designations:
 
Birds               Birds of the Western Palaearctic Vols. I to IX (for the taxonomy)
                        The British Ornithologists Union British List (for the species names)
 
Plants              List of Vascular Plants of the British Isles, D. H. Kent (1992)
 
Mammals, Turtles, Cetacea       JNCC compilation
 
Fish                  Freshwater Fishes, P. S. Maitland and R.N. Campbell (1992)
 
 

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