The Devon Biodiversity Action Plan was published in 1998 and identified 31 key habitats and 260 key species which were the priority for conservation action. Action plans were produced for habitats and for 20 species requiring a county-wide approach to their conservation.
Devon County Council, Devon Biodiversity Records Centre (DBRC) and Devon species experts from a range of recording groups and organisations have worked together to update the 1998 species list and produce a long list of ~ 1,600 species known to be rare in Devon (Priority Species) and a shortlist of 96 species (Devon’s Special Species) for which Devon has a particular responsibility.
These Priority Species are species which satisfy one or more of the following criteria, as agreed by the Devon Species Steering Group:
A. Priority species in England (listed on Section 41 of the NERC Act)
B. Nationally threatened species (Critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable)
C. Nationally Rare (15 or fewer hectads (10km squares) for terrestrial species or 8 or fewer 10 km squares containing sea within the historical three-nautical mile limit of territorial seas for Great Britain for marine species)
D. Nationally Scarce (16-100 hectads (10km squares) or 9-55 10 km squares containing sea within the historical three-nautical mile limit of territorial seas for Great Britain for marine species)
E. Red Listed birds
F. Rare in Devon – found in 10 or fewer tetrads, or 40 or fewer monads (for well-recorded species groups)
G. Devon is an English stronghold (based on expert opinion).
The long list of Priority Species can be downloaded here (please note that the habitat and location information on this list is still being updated)
More information on the 96 Devon’s Special Species can be found on the Devon Local Nature Partnership website