Threatened Plants of Austria

Excerpt of the current Red data list

Lilium carniolicum (photo: M. Sonnleitner)

Red Lists and Red Books of threatened plant and animal species have become an indispensable tool for species and habitat conservation. Data and knowledge accumulated by our members in the context of Mapping the Flora of Austria and by varied field studies have enabled (and obliged) us to take a leading role in fulfilling this challenge for the plants of Austria. Covering the whole spectrum of higher plants, lower plants, and fungi, we set out guidelines, wrote introductory chapters, and edited the Red Data books (two editions so far). For bryophytes, lichens, macrofungi, and a selection of freshwater algae we assembled experts to contribute the relevant parts, while for the vascular plants we generated those list ourselves, incorporating suggestions and corrections by relevant experts across Austria. These lists offer, for about 60% of the Austrian vascular plant species, standardized information on nation-wide category of threat, regional deviations, distribution in the Austrian federal states ("Bundesländer"), status (native or neophyte), and, where necessary, further floristic or taxonomic comments.

A first edition has already been published in 1987 (with W. Gutermann and G. Karrer as additional co-authors). The current second edition was carefully revised and considerably extended, taking advantage of the meanwhile considerably increased floristic data background and experience. It was prepared during the years 1997–1999 and published in 1999. At the moment, data are collected and compiled for an updated third edition of the Red Data lists.

As habitats and threating factors differ considerably on a regional level and as legislature of nature protection is organized on the level of federal states ("Bundesländer"), Red Data lists are also required at this level. Thus, we have contributed to Red Data lists of several Austrian states (e.g., Kärnten, Oberösterreich).

For those among the threatened Austrian vascular plant species that are defined by the European Fauna-Flora-Habitat (FFH) directive to be of utmost importance, much more detailed information on distribution, populations, ecology, and conservational aspects has been collected.

Selected Publications