• Biodiversity Monitoring Switzerland

Welcome to BDM!

Biological diversity is a vital resource. That is why it is essential for Switzerland to know how the country’s biodiversity is doing and developing. Furthermore, Switzerland has committed itself to long-term biodiversity monitoring by signing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). BDM is a program run by the Federal Office for the Environment.

Purpose and objectives

Complementing other environmental information, BDM data serve to underpin nature conservation policy and other political decisions with a large impact on biodiversity, such as those made regarding agriculture and forestry.

Biodiversity Monitoring Switzerland surveys the long-term development of species diversity in select plant and animal species. By keeping an eye on common and widespread species, BDM focuses on trends and developments in Switzerland’s normal landscape. Inspired by Swiss Range Statistics and the Swiss National Forest Inventory, BDM chose a systematic sampling grid consisting of three distinct nationwide networks.

Contribution and distinctive features

Along with other programs, BDM provides basic data to show how biodiversity in Switzerland is developing. BDM’s distinctive contribution above all consists in:

  • establishing species lists that are as comprehensive as possible for all sampling areas, increasing the probability of noticing any species absences.
  • not restricting itself to hotspots or sites where rarities were found, but rather monitoring random sites that would hardly ever be surveyed otherwise.
  • also surveying common and widespread species that biologists normally ignore.
  • conducting repeat surveys at the exact same spot using the exact same method, making it possible to gain detailed insights into any changes of species diversity.

Sites of species surveyed by BDM are integrated into the databases of InfoSpecies, Switzerland’s network of national species data centers.

Moreover, BDM data are regularly used for scientific publications.

Previous Versions

The set of biodiversity indicators offered by BDM has been revised. It is now possible to access a wide range of biodiversity indicators straight from the FOEN website. For information—particularly on pressures and responses—contained in the formerly over 30 indicators, please go to the Archive.


On behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment, more than one hundred biologists work in the field gathering biodiversity data. Their field work is coordinated by a specialized company commissioned by the FOEN.

Project organization

Hotspot special edition

The Hotspot special edition on 20 years of BDM shows who works behind the data and highlights current developments in biodiversity.

Other Programs
In addition to BDM, there are a number of Swiss programs offering insights into this country’s biological diversity. For more information (in German, French or Italian only), please go to:.


General information on biodiversity can be found on the following links.

For current BDM results please go to the FOEN website.

BDM data are also used for one of the Federal Council’s legislature indicators (in German, French or Italian only).