"Natura 2000" is an EU-wide network of protection areas. It is based both on the Birds Directive from 1978 that protects areas relevant for breeding and migrating birds and on the Habitats Directive from 1992 (Council Directive 92/43/EEC), which regulates the protection of selected additional species and habitats of community interest. The Natura 2000 system is the EU's central instrument for nature conservation.
Besides the identification of protection areas, the two directives also regulate the particular protection of selected species outside the protected areas. The target species of the AMPHIKULT project are among the species in Appendix IV of the Habitats Directive, they are "species of community interest in need of strict protection".