Condition indicators tell us whether an ecosystem is in a good state. They include indicators of habitat, species and resources, such as water and carbon.

What are condition indicators?

This group of indicators tells us the state of our ecosystems. They can be considered on their own or together with functional and resilience indicators to gain a broader picture of our ecosystems.

These indicators form a baseline and in the future, we will be able to show changes of time.

Why do we need them?

They are useful to policy-makers, planners and land managers because they show where intervention is needed to halt damage to, or restore, ecosystem health. They also show stakeholders where progress is being made and where more effort may be needed.

How should I use them?

You can use the indicators in many ways:

  • Condition indicators have been used by conservationists to target work to protect species and habitats. For example, a recent study on amphibians looked at connections between EUNIS habitat types and the presence of different species and then used this to work in partnership with farmers to protect animals on their land. For more information read 'Newt homes for great crested highlanders’.
  • Our site condition monitoring is used to identify which features on sites designated as important for nature need attention and tells us when interventions have been effective. There are more examples on the NatureScot website.

This page was updated on 27 Nov 2019

  Adobe Acrobat Reader is the free, trusted leader for reliably viewing, annotating and signing PDFs.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader