Red Data Book and Biodiversity Action Plans

A Red Data Book for British bryophytes was published in 2001 containing 226 species in the various threat categories.  Further information is being gathered to assess the status of another 24 species which are known to be very rare.  Of the 226 plants, 152 (67%) occur in Scotland and 86 of these have their only British sites here.  Many of the most threatened of these species have been the subject of research in the past ten years, funded by SNH, often in conjunction with the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.  This research has resulted in the production of Species Dossiers which attempt to pull together all that we know about each species, especially where it grows, how much of it there is, and how threatened it is.

We are lucky in that many of our rare and interesting species occur in remote and relatively undisturbed habitats where the level of threat is perceived to be low.  This is reflected in the sorts of species that were of sufficient concern to need a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).  There are currently 45 BAP bryophytes, of which 24 occur in Scotland.  This relatively low number is symptomatic of the greater pressures on lowland habitats further south.