Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Flying sparrow taking a piece of bread from someone’s hand

How are the various animal species doing?

Land and freshwater-based fauna in the Netherlands saw their numbers grow by slightly over 1 percent between 1990 and 2019. However, there are significant differences per group of species.noot1 Across the board, the majority of land-based species are declining in number, such as butterflies (26 species are declining, 15 are increasing). On average, freshwater-based species are on the right track. For example, 36 species of dragonflies have increased in distribution, while 11 species have declined.

How are the various animal species doing?AmphibiansReptilesIncreasingDecliningStable 961133Legend726920Birds
FishButter-fliesDragon-flies1136911118261510Mammals1578

CBS calculates trends in the size of the population and the area of distribution of a large number of plant and animal species found in Dutch nature. To do this, CBS makes use of observations mainly collected by volunteers, but also in part by professional observers. Examining the trends in conjunction makes it possible to form a reasonably complete impression of the state and development of Dutch nature.

Slight increase of land and freshwater-based fauna

The indicator ‘fauna of land and freshwater’ (also called the Dutch Living Planet Index or LPInoot2 shows the average trend for 351 breeding birds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals and freshwater fishes living in the Netherlands. This index rose by slightly more than 1 percent in the period 1990–2019. It has been stable over the last 12 years, but each type of nature reserve exhibits differences in developments. For example, animal species typically found in heathland, dunes and on agricultural land have declined on average whereas those found in forests, fresh water and marshes have increased.

Land and freshwater fauna (trend 1990=100)
Observation Trend Confidence interval (low) Confidence interval (high)
1990 102 100 95 − 105 95 − 105
1991 98 99 95 − 103 95 − 103
1992 101 98 95 − 101 95 − 101
1993 95 98 95 − 100 95 − 100
1994 92 97 95 − 100 95 − 100
1995 98 97 95 − 99 95 − 99
1996 95 97 95 − 99 95 − 99
1997 98 97 95 − 99 95 − 99
1998 99 98 95 − 100 95 − 100
1999 96 98 96 − 101 96 − 101
2000 101 99 97 − 101 97 − 101
2001 97 100 98 − 102 98 − 102
2002 102 101 98 − 103 98 − 103
2003 104 102 99 − 104 99 − 104
2004 101 102 100 − 104 100 − 104
2005 105 103 101 − 105 101 − 105
2006 104 103 101 − 105 101 − 105
2007 102 104 102 − 106 102 − 106
2008 101 104 102 − 106 102 − 106
2009 108 105 102 − 106 102 − 106
2010 106 105 103 − 106 103 − 106
2011 106 105 103 − 106 103 − 106
2012 100 105 103 − 106 103 − 106
2013 104 105 103 − 106 103 − 106
2014 107 104 103 − 106 103 − 106
2015 104 104 102 − 105 102 − 105
2016 103 103 102 − 105 102 − 105
2017 105 103 101 − 104 101 − 104
2018 102 102 100 − 104 100 − 104
2019 101 101 99 − 104 99 − 104

Fewer butterflies, more dragonflies

In addition to differences between nature areas, there are also major differences between groups of species. The groups of species of which the majority are land-based have on average declined over the past thirty years, while groups of species that are mainly freshwater-based have on average thrived during this period. For example, butterfly (land-based) numbers have halved compared to 1992. Butterfly species such as the wood white, brown argus, cranberry blue, cranberry fritillary and common ringlet are experiencing a declining trend. The distribution of dragonfliesnoot3 (freshwater-based) has increased by around 50 percent since 1992, although the trend has been declining in recent years. Typical southern species such as the southern black-tailed skimmer, southern emperor dragonfly, southern aeshnid, scarlet dragonfly and wandering darters are spreading ever more widely.

Butterflies and dragonflies (trend 1992=100)
Dragonflies- Observation Dragonflies - Trend Dragonflies - Confidence interval (low) Dragonflies - Confidence interval (high) Butterflies - Observation Butterflies - Trend Butterflies - Confidence interval (low) Butterflies - Confidence interval (high)
1992 104 105 95 − 116 95 − 116 116 100 91 − 110 91 − 110
1993 100 110 102 − 118 102 − 118 89 92 86 − 99 86 − 99
1994 110 115 108 − 122 108 − 122 64 85 80 − 90 80 − 90
1995 119 120 114 − 125 114 − 125 89 80 76 − 83 76 − 83
1996 127 125 120 − 130 120 − 130 79 75 72 − 78 72 − 78
1997 141 131 127 − 136 127 − 136 72 71 69 − 74 69 − 74
1998 139 137 133 − 141 133 − 141 71 68 66 − 71 66 − 71
1999 139 143 138 − 147 138 − 147 52 66 63 − 68 63 − 68
2000 146 150 146 − 153 146 − 153 69 64 61 − 66 61 − 66
2001 144 156 153 − 161 153 − 161 51 62 60 − 64 60 − 64
2002 160 163 159 − 166 159 − 166 67 61 59 − 63 59 − 63
2003 182 169 166 − 173 166 − 173 76 60 58 − 62 58 − 62
2004 174 175 173 − 178 173 − 178 58 59 58 − 61 58 − 61
2005 175 181 178 − 183 178 − 183 63 59 58 − 61 58 − 61
2006 192 184 181 − 187 181 − 187 61 59 58 − 61 58 − 61
2007 198 187 185 − 189 185 − 189 46 59 58 − 61 58 − 61
2008 194 188 187 − 191 187 − 191 45 59 58 − 60 58 − 60
2009 190 189 187 − 191 187 − 191 73 59 58 − 61 58 − 61
2010 186 189 187 − 191 187 − 191 74 59 58 − 61 58 − 61
2011 178 188 185 − 189 185 − 189 65 60 58 − 61 58 − 61
2012 185 186 183 − 189 183 − 189 45 60 59 − 62 59 − 62
2013 182 185 183 − 187 183 − 187 68 60 59 − 61 59 − 61
2014 177 185 183 − 187 183 − 187 69 59 58 − 60 58 − 60
2015 185 185 183 − 187 183 − 187 54 58 56 − 59 56 − 59
2016 178 184 183 − 185 183 − 185 49 56 55 − 58 55 − 58
2017 179 184 183 − 185 183 − 185 66 54 53 − 55 53 − 55
2018 191 184 183 − 185 183 − 185 56 52 51 − 53 51 − 53
2019 186 185 183 − 187 183 − 187 46 50 49 − 51 49 − 51
28 188 185 183 − 187 183 − 187 45 47 46 − 48 46 − 48

The questions

Noten

Species group

A species group is a group of species belonging to the same class (e.g. birds, mammals, butterflies).

Living Planet Index (LPI)

Plant species, but also animal species found in saltwater (marine fish, fauna of the seabed) are not yet included in this indicator. Consequently, the LPI of the Netherlands actually relates to fauna found on land and in freshwater.

Dragonflies

There are currently no (reliable) trends available with respect to the number of dragonflies: trends in distribution are seen as the best way to describe population development when no trends in numbers are available.

Colophon

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Contributors

Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik

Infographics

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek

Editors

Ronald van der Bie

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

Sidney Vergouw

Paul de Winden

Karolien van Wijk

Gert Jan Wijma

Translators

Frans Dinnissen

Gaby de Vet

Taalcentrum VU

Final editor

Elma Wobma

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in numbers.