Species protection law

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The species protection law covers those legal norms aimed at the protection of wild animal and plant species and their habitat; the protection of animals, especially vertebrates as individuals, on the other hand, is more served by animal welfare law . Species protection law is traditionally one of the core areas of German and international nature conservation law. Its growing importance also results from the fact that, depending on the perspective, it is increasingly perceived as a "veritable legal obstacle" for infrastructure projects.

Legal bases

The provisions of the EU Species Protection Ordinance apply immediately; For the European Union , they primarily implement the Washington Convention on the Protection of Species (WA or CITES).

The German Federal Nature Conservation Act dedicates Chapter 5 ( Sections 37-55 BNatSchG ) to species protection law . It is divided in particular into the regulations for the protection of all wild animal and plant species (so-called general species protection law, §§ 39 ff BNatSchG ) as well as those that contain access, possession and marketing bans for specially or strictly protected species ( §§ 44 ff BNatSchG ). The importance of the Federal Species Protection Ordinance lies in the fact that it lists additional, nationally particularly or strictly protected species in Appendix 1 .

Species protection

The abstract definition can be found in Section 7 (2) No. 13 and 14 BNatSchG . In order to determine in practice whether an animal or plant species benefits from the special species protection law, one looks at the alphabetically sorted list in Appendix 1 to the Federal Species Protection Ordinance, which is completed with regard to the German species names , in Appendix IV of the Habitats Directive and in Appendix A and B of the EU species protection ordinance (these are species endangered by trade in appendices I + II of the Washington Convention on Endangered Species , less indigenous species). Or better beforehand in the online search portal of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation WISIA.

Examples: All bat species are both specially and strictly protected animal species. All wild bird species found in Europe are specially protected . Of these, 94 species such as B. the black stork and the middle woodpecker are also strictly protected species.


Section 44 (1) of the BNatSchG contains access bans for specially protected ( see above ) plants and animals. This prohibits the removal, damage or destruction of specimens of specially protected plants and specimens of specially protected animals, injuring or even killing them. It is also prohibited to damage the locations of specially protected plants or the breeding and resting places of specially protected animals.

In addition, possession and marketing bans apply .

For strictly protected species (Annex IV FFH-RL and Annex A EU-ArtenSch-VO ) and European bird species (cf. Art. 1 of the Birds Directive ) there is also a ban on disturbance during reproduction, rearing, moulting, wintering and Hiking times.

See also


  1. Fellenberg: Species Protection Law, in: Kerkmann (Ed.) Nature Protection Law in Practice , Berlin 2007, p. 243.
  2. Online information system for nature conservation law ( memento of the original from July 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.naturschutzrecht-online.de
  3. Lukas / Würsig / Teßmer: Species Protection Law , ed. v. Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany u. Environmental Law Information Service , Frankfurt 2011
  4. Scientific information system on international species protection with data on the time of protection and protection status
  5. Art. 1 of the Birds Directive