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Clarify INSPIRE Theme for derived capercaillie areas

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Johanna Ott
By Johanna Ott Replies (2)

Hi everybody, I have a set of data containing potential living/stepping stone areas for capercaillie. It is derived data, that identifies areas where the environmental circumstances (elevation, occurring tree species, open spaces) would allow capercaillie to live (and reproduce). So it does not contain areas where capercaillie were actually observed or currently live. This data is derived in order to identify priority (or in this case rather non-priority) areas for wind energy. Does this kind of data fall under the INSPIRE Directive at all and if yes, can it be reported as Habitat or is that only applicable if the relevant species really live in the area (and not just the area fulfilling theoretical requirements for the species)? Thank you for your help, all the best Johanna

  • Stefania MORRONE

    By Stefania MORRONE

    Hi Johanna,

    interesting question, indeed. In the Data specification on Habitats and Biotopes there is no explicit reference to the areas that ‘could be’ suitable habitats for specific species.


    Let’s consider the following two statements from the “Definition and description” [Page VI of the Data Specification]:


    • The INSPIRE Directive defines Habitats and Biotopes as geographical areas characterised by specific ecological conditions, processes, structure, and (life support) functions that physically support the organisms that live there.
    • Common to all spatial data that fall under this category is a characterisation of the distribution of geographical areas being functional areas for living organisms.

    The first sentence is quite clear: only areas in which species actually have been observed/ live fall under INSPIRE obligations.

    However, reading the second sentence, one could argue that ‘functional areas for living organisms’ could be intended as areas whose characteristics support the life of (are functional for) specific living organisms - no matter if they live there or not.


    My personal understanding is that there is no obligation to provide your data under INSPIRE HB, but it could be useful to provide.

    Should your data be part of a mandatory legal process for a wind farm e.g. a strategic environmental assessment – they might fall under the AM data theme.



    Hope this helps




    Hi everybody,

    the suggestion of Stefania is perfectly right: areas that ‘could be’ suitable habitats for specific species should be provided under the theme Habitats and Biotopes.

    At least that is, how I solved a question like that for the community in Germany.

    Best regards,

    Dirk (Facilitator of the TWG Biodiversity)

Biodiversity & Area Management

Biodiversity & Area Management

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