The Fauna Europaea project (EVR1-1999-20001) has been funded by the European Commission for a period of four years (1 March 2000 - 1 March 2004) within the Fifth Framework Programme (5FP). Fauna Europaea has assembled a database of the scientific names and distribution of all living multicellular European land and fresh-water animals.
Experts in taxonomy have provided data of all species currently known in Europe. Together these data have formed a huge database, which will be accessible to everyone. The University of Amsterdam has coordinated the project, assisted by the University of Copenhagen and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.The Fauna Europaea database will provide a unique reference for many groups such as scientists, governments, industries, conservation communities and educational programs.
The European Commission has published the Community Biodiversity Strategy to provide the framework for development of Community policies and instruments in order to comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Strategy recognises the current incomplete state of knowledge at all levels concerning biodiversity, which is a constraint on the successful implementation of the Convention.
Fauna Europaea contributes to the European Community Biodiversity Strategy by supporting one of the main themes of the Strategy: to identify and catalogue the components of European biodiversity into a database to serve as a basic tool for science and conservation policies. In Europe such a taxonomic index did not exist as yet. Partial overviews were scattered around Europe in different scientific institutes, while only some countries are working on national information systems. In regard to biodiversity in Europe, science and policies depend on knowledge of its components. The assessment of biodiversity, monitoring changes, sustainable exploitation of biodiversity, and much legislative work depends upon a validated overview of taxonomic biodiversity, in which Fauna Europaea plays a major role.
What does FaEu define as its external geographical boundaries? The FaEu contract states that the species and subspecies names should be registered at least at a country level, meaning political countries. The FaEu geographical system will follow basically the ISO - TDWG standards; the covered area will be the same as European mainland, plus the Macaronesian islands (exl. Cape Verder Is.), Cyprus, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya, the Western Kazakhstan excluded.
View map of area covered by FaEu - click here