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
The following reference sources (and
checklists) were used for enumerating the higher level
of the Western Palaearctic Vols. I to IX (for the taxonomy)
The British Ornithologists Union British List (for the species
List of Vascular Plants of the British Isles, D. H. Kent
Freshwater Fishes, P. S. Maitland and R.N. Campbell (1992)