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Available and potential indicators reported by 52 Parties and other Governments between May 2001 and February 2003

Indicators for general application

  • Total area of protected areas (use IUCN definition of protected areas)
  • Percentage of protected area to total area
  • Size and distribution of protected areas
  • Percentage area in strictly protected status
  • Number of endemic/threatened/ endangered/vulnerable species by group
  • Soil quality
  • Existence of institutional capacity, policy and regulatory framework for the planning, management and conservation of biological diversity
  • Species threatened with extinction (number or percent)
  • Endemic species threatened with extinction
  • Endemic species in protected areas
  • Threatened species in protected areas
  • Diversity of native fauna
  • Species with decreasing populations
  • Species richness (number, number per unit area, number per habitat area
  • Density of road network
  • Recorded species present by group
  • Species used by local residents
  • Population growth and fluctuation trends of special interest species
  • Threatened species in ex-situ collections
  • Species group: total number versus threatened species
  • Temporal change in number of species (increase/decrease)
  • Species with stable or increasing populations
  • Species threatened with extirpation
  • Sex ratio, age distribution and other aspects of population structure for sensitive species, keystone species, and other special interest species
  • Indigenous species present by group
  • Change in number and/or distribution of keystone or indicator species
  • Threatened species with viable ex-situ populations
  • Change in habitat boundaries
  • Number of introduced species and genomes
  • Change in composition of species over time
  • Non-indigenous species present by group
  • Changes in average size of a particular habitat type
  • Change in presence, location, area, numbers of invasive plant or animal species
  • Quantity of specimens or species of economic/scientific interest removed from the environment
  • Changes in limiting factors for key species e.g. nest holes for parrots, fruit bat roosting trees
  • Slope failure (landslides)
  • Diversity in total area of a particular habitat type
  • Spatial differences in the number of rare vs. common species
  • Changes in largest block of a particular habitat type
  • Species risk index
  • Species with small populations vs. larger population size
  • Spatial differences in the restricted vs. wide range species
  • Percentage of area dominated by non-domesticated species
  • Representativeness of intra-specific variability of endangered and economically important species
  • Volcanic unrest
  • Presence of taxa on environmental integrity
  • Karst activity
  • Relative wilderness index
  • Change in mean nearest distance between blocks of a particular habitat type
  • Degree of connectivity of food web
  • Change in average width of break in an identified habitat corridor
  • Percentage of area dominated by non domesticated species occurring in patches greater than 1,000 km2
  • Frozen ground activity

Indicators of forest biodiversity

  • Total forest area
  • Total forest area as a percentage of total land area
  • Percentage forest cover by forest type (primary, secondary or plantation)
  • List of flora and fauna
  • Percentage protected area of total forest area
  • Reforested and afforested areas
  • Forest area change by forest type (primary, secondary or plantation)
  • Number of extinct, endangered, threatened, vulnerable and endemic forest dependent species by group (e.g. birds, mammals, vertebrates, invertebrates)
  • Number and size of forest fires
  • Change in land use, conversion of forest land to other land uses (deforestation rate)
  • Contribution of forest sector to GDP
  • Area and percentage of forest area affected by anthropogenic effects (logging, harvesting for subsistence)
  • Absolute and relative abundance, density, basal area, cover, of various species
  • Percentage forest managed for wood production
  • Existence of procedures for identifying endangered, rare, and threatened species
  • Number of threatened, keystone, flagship species
  • Existing strategies for in situ/ex situ conservation of genetic variation within commercial, endangered, rare and threatened species of forest flora and fauna.
  • Percentage protected area with clearly defined boundaries
  • Annual volume and area of timber harvested-indigenous and plantation
  • Area and percentage of forest area affected by natural disasters (insect attack, disease, fire and flooding)
  • Number and extent of invasive species
  • Percentage forest protected areas (by forest type, age, class, and successional stage)
  • Wood harvesting intensity
  • Managed forest ratio
  • Changes in the proportions of stands managed for conservation and utilization of genetic resources (gene reserves, seed collection stands, etc.)
  • Per capita wood consumption
  • Extent of mixed stands
  • Estimate of carbon stored
  • Percentage forest land managed for recreation and tourism to total forest area
  • Number of forest dependent species whose populations are declining
  • Fragmentation of forests
  • Threatened tree species as a percentage of the 20 most used for commercial purposes
  • Area and extent of degraded lands reclaimed through forest operations
  • Area and percentage of forests managed for catchment protection
  • Self-regenerating area as a percentage of total area
  • Population levels of representative species from diverse habitats monitored across their range
  • Self-regenerating area per habitat type
  • Ratio between exotic species and native species in plantation area
  • Forest conversion affecting rare ecosystems by area
  • Area and length and numbers of biological corridors
  • Relationship between forest cover and frequency of flooding

Indicators of agricultural biodiversity

  • Use of agricultural pesticides
  • Agricultural area by crops (cereal, oil crops, forage, woodlands)
  • Change in area of agricultural land (conversion to or from agriculture)
  • Agricultural area (intensively farmed, semi-intensively farmed and uncultivated)
  • Species diversity used for food
  • Intensification and extensification of agricultural land use
  • Erosion/Loss of genetic diversity patrimony
  • Replacement of landraces with few imported ones
  • Crops/livestock grown as a percentage of number of 30 years before
  • Replacement of indigenous crops
  • Number of species threatened by agriculture by group (e.g. birds, mammals, vascular plants, vertebrates, invertebrates)
  • Accession of crops and livestock in ex-situ storage (number or percentage)
  • Number of vertebrate species using habitat on agricultural land by species.
  • Accessions of crops generated in the past decade (per cent)
  • Differences in species diversity and abundance of arthropods and earthworms in organically and conventionally cultivated arable land
  • Coefficient of kinship or parentage of crops
  • Rate of change from dominance of non-domesticated species to domesticated species
  • Inbreeding/outbreeding rate
  • Rate of genetic interchange between populations (measured by rate of dispersal and subsequent reproduction of migrants)

Indicators of inland waters biodiversity

  • Surface water quality: Nitrogen, Dissolved oxygen, pH, pesticides, heavy metals, temperature
  • Ground water quality: nitrates, salinity, toxicants
  • Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) on water bodies (re: eutrophication)
  • Fish family diversity
  • Wetland area
  • Groundwater level (water table level)
  • Benthic macroinvertebrates: communities
  • Stream flow
  • Number of inland fish species introduced
  • Number of endemic flora and fauna
  • Number of extinct, endangered, threatened/endangered/vulnerable/ endemic inland water species by group (e.g. birds, aquatic mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, vascular plants, bottom fauna)
  • Macrophytes: species composition and depth distribution
  • Threatened freshwater fish species as a % total freshwater fish species known
  • Changes in fish catches by species
  • Indicator species
  • Number of exotic flora and fauna species (e.g. fish, aquatic weeds)
  • Changes in distribution and abundance of native flora and fauna
  • Species richness (number per unit area, number per habitat)
  • Stream sediment storage and load
  • Extent of wetland drainage and filling
  • Changes in vegetation type along water courses
  • Water resource vulnerability index
  • Ratio between maximum sustained yield and actual average abundance
  • Glacier fluctuations

Indicators of marine and coastal biodiversity

  • Change in proportion of fish catches by species per specific season
  • Threatened fish species as a percentage of total fish species known
  • Escherichia coli counts and nutrient levels as % of baseline levels
  • Lake levels and salinity
  • Shoreline position
  • Percentage coastal zone with populations exceeding 100 inhabitants/km2
  • Coral chemistry and growth pattern
  • Annual rate of mangrove conversion
  • Algae index
  • Number of large scale bottom trawling vessels per 1 000 km of coastal area
  • Surface displacement
  • Frozen ground activity
  • Amount of poison chemicals and dynamite used for reef fishing.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme