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None of the indicators available provide an assessment of biodiversity in a simple and precise manner. What we can do is take a look at several independent indicators. Furthermore, there are no time series and/or European comparative data available either.

As far as natural capital and biodiversity are concerned, the country was in a better condition at the time of joining the EU, than were older member states, but the trends cannot be termed positive at all. We have lost a significant majority of natural habitats, and forest naturalness can only be deemed acceptable in the low-lying mountain ranges of the country. 

Natural Capital Index

Sources of data: 
B. CZÚCZ, ZS. MOLNÁR, F. HORVÁTH and Z. BOTTA-DUKÁT: THE NATURAL CAPITAL INDEX OF HUNGARY in: Acta Botanica Hungarica 50(Suppl.), pp. 161–177, 2008. DOI: 10.1556/ABot.50.2008.Suppl.8

The indicator developed here is based on the Natural Capital Index (NCI) framework first developed in the Netherlands, reflecting the “distance” of a complex landscape, consisting of a variety of habitats, from its original natural state. The indicator estimates how much still remains of the original natural flora and fauna (especially the latter) of the given area. The greater the size and the naturalness of the habitats in the region, the greater the value of the index.  The Natural Capital Index of Hungary is unfortunately very low - depending on the method of calculation, 3.2% or 9.8% - meaning that more than 90% of the natural flora and fauna once populating the country have been destroyed.


Naturalness of forests

Sources of data: 
A magyarországi erdők természetessége - szerk: Bartha Dénes és Gálhidy László, WWF füzetek 27.

The criteria used to evaluate the naturalness of forests consist in the free realization of natural processes going on in the forests as well as the existence of features shaped by these processes. Naturalness is interpreted as a continuous variable, where one of the extremes is provided by the artificial state (0% naturalness), whereas the other extreme is is that of the natural state (100% naturalness). 

Common birds os farmlands

index (2000=100%)
Sources of data: 

Unfortunately, no data are available from Eurostat concerning the countries of Central and Eastern Europe since 2008, while there are no data at all about forest species. The European trend is falling for both indicators. The situation in Hungary is similar; however, bird biodiversity is still greater than the European average.