Species Protection Ordinance

In Sweden, the EU provisions on species protection from the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) and the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEG) are mainly transposed to the Species Protection Ordinance (2007:845). The Ordinance contains provisions governing capture, killing and taking of species from the wild, trade and other actions involving specimens of animal and plant species in need of protection.

The Swedish implementation of the obligations concerning species protection from the two EU Nature directives is manly found in the Species Protection Ordinance. In addition to this, acts where the intent is to kill or capture wild birds or mammals are regulated the Hunting Ordinance (1987:259). Similarly, the species protection of fishes, mollusks and crayfish is found in the fishing legislation (Fishing, aquaculture and fisheries ordinance 1994:1716).

The species protection in the Species Protection Ordinance is a mixture of the provisions from the two EU Nature directives. Broadly speaking, the birds in Sweden enjoy similar protection as the animal and plant species protected by the Habitats directive.

The interpretation of the species protection provisions has been debated in Sweden recent years. Today, there is a substantial body of case-law from the Swedish courts, as well as from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Several of the Swedish court cases concern wind parks and their alleged impact on birds and bats.

One issue which has been especially debated is how to interpret the word “deliberate” in the species protection regulations; the following is guidance on this from the Swedish EPA: 

The word ‘deliberate’ in the strict protection of species regulations – how to understand it using wind power as an example (pdf 127 kB)