1. Tree of the Year 2017 is the Picea abies.

  2. Orchid of the Year 2017 is the White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium).

  3. Soil of the year 2017 is the hortisol.

  4. The German city of Essen has won the European Green Capital Award for 2017. The award was presented by Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, at a ceremony on 17 June 2015 in Bristol, UK, which currently holds the title. Essen was singled out for its exemplary practices in protecting and enhancing nature and biodiversity and efforts to reduce water consumption. Essen participates in a variety of networks and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve the city’s resilience in the face of climate change.

  5. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has approved the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The resolution, adopted on 4 December, recognizes “the importance of international tourism, and particularly of the designation of an international year of sustainable tourism for development, in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world”.

  6. Daisy (Bellis perennis) has been chosen for the Medicinal Herb of the Year 2017 by the NHV Theophrastus.

  7. Dragonfly of the year 2017 is the common clubtail (Gomphus vulgatissimus).

  8. In 2017 the Association for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Domestic Breeds (GEH) is presenting three breeds of ducks, the German Pekin, the Orpington and the Muscovy, as the ‘Endangered Domestic Breeds of the Year’.

  9. Domestic animal of the year 2017 is the dog.

  10. Perennial Herb of the Year 2017 are the Begenia.

  11. Cave Animal of the Year 2017 is the Diphyus quadripunctorius.

  12. Medicinal Plant of the Year 2017 is the oat (Avena sativa).

  13. Fish of the Year 2017 is the European flounder (Platichthys flesus).

  14. Fungus of the Year 2017 is the Jew's ear (Auricularia auricula-judae).

  15. Cactus of the year 2017 is the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican State of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona.

  16. European Spider of the Year 2017 is the Walnut Orb-weaver Spider (Nuctenea umbratica) the Nuctenea umbratica.

  17. Lichen of the Year 2017 is the Variospora flavescens.

  18. Moss of the Year 2017 is the Comb-moss (Ctenidium molluscum).

  19. Bird of the Year 2017 is the tawny owl or brown owl(Strix aluco).

  20. The Franconian Forest in Northern Bavaria, Germany was chosen as Forest of the Year 2017.

  21. Butterfly of the Year 2017 is the Pale Clouded Yellow (Colias hyale).

  22. The slow worm (Anguis fragilis) is the reptile of the year 2017.

  23. Insect of the year 2017 is the praying mantis (Mantis religiosa).

  24. Wild bee of the year 2017 is the large scarbius bee (Andrena hattorfiana).

  25. Diaphanoeca grandis is the Protozoan of the Year 2017.

  26. Poisonous plant of the year 2017 is the bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis).

  27. Animal of the Year 2017 is the hazel dormouse or common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius).

  28. Algal researchers nominated the Blue-Green Rock Dweller Chroococcidiopsis for the alga of the year 2017. The single celled organism lives inside rocks and lichens, survives extreme climatic conditions and makes hostile environments accessible – today and most likely thousands of millions of years ago as well. While doing so, it paved the way for plants and animals. The blue-green rock dweller, belonging to the cyanobacteria lives like all algae, from sunlight, and is of great interest to ecologists, biotechnologists, and desert- and space researchers.

  29. Mollusc of the year 2017 ist the round-mouthed snail (Pomatias elegans).

  30. The average Arctic sea ice extent was 8.6 percent below the 1981-2010 average for January 2017, and the average Antarctic sea ice extent was 22.8 percent below the 1981-2010 average. For both regions this was the smallest January sea ice extent since the satellite record began in 1979. 

  31. Laboratory animal of the year 2016 is the rat.

  32. On 22 March 2017, the Global Nature Fund announced, the choice of the Lake Steinhude in Lower Saxony, Germany as Living Lake of the Year 2017.

  33. Flower of the Year 2018 is the common poppy (Papaver rhoeas).

  34. In the past the Förderkreis Sporttauchen e.V. selected the water plant of the year. Since 2011 the national divers' associations of Germany, Austria and Switzerland resume this task. The European white water lily is the water plant of the year 2017.

  35. Microbe of the Year 2017 is the Halobacterium salinarum. Halobacterium salinarum is a model organism for the halophilic branch of the archaea. It is rod-shaped, motile, lives in highly saline environments, and is one of the few species known that can live in saturated salt solutions.

  36. Just 20 years ago, the rusty patched bumble bee was a common sight, so ordinary that it went almost unnoticed as it moved from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen. But the species, now balancing precariously on the brink of extinction, has become the first-ever bumble bee in the United States -- and the first bee of any kind in the contiguous 48 states -- to be declared endangered. The endangered designation is made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act for species that are in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or a portion of their range. Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius said, “Our top priority is to act quickly to prevent extinction of the rusty patched bumble bee. Listing the bee as endangered will help us mobilize partners and focus resources on finding ways right now to stop the decline.” Once common and abundant across 28 states from Connecticut to South Dakota, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces, the rusty patched bumble bee has experienced a swift and dramatic decline since the late 1990s. Abundance of the rusty patched bumble bee has plummeted by 87 percent, leaving small, scattered populations in 13 states and one province. Causes of the decline in rusty patched bumble bee populations are believed to be loss of habitat; disease and parasites; use of pesticides that directly or indirectly kill the bees; climate change, which can affect the availability of the flowers they depend on; and extremely small population size. Most likely, a combination of these factors has caused the decline in rusty patched bumble bees.

  37. Researchers from the Ocean Acoustics Working Group at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) spent nearly three years recording the unique underwater soundscape of the Antarctic. Their findings were published on 11 January 2017, in the journal Royal Society Open Science. The authors of the study identified sounds produced by various species in the Southern Ocean, including leopard seals, Antarctic blue whales, fin whales and Antarctic minke whales, which blend into a set of background “choruses” that contribute to the ambient sound. The intensity of these contributions varied with time and location, yielding new insights into the animals’ behaviour and distribution. Further, the researchers gathered data on the animals’ annual cycle. In addition, the marine biologists and physicists were able to determine the extent to which sea ice influences the soundscape of the Southern Ocean. During the winter months, it covers the ocean like a muffling blanket. The acoustic recordings show that not only the extent of the sea ice is important, but also its concentration and thickness. The researchers used two recorders, which they moored at depths of 217 and 260 metres in the Atlantic part of the Southern Ocean from March 2008 to December 2010. Their work represents the first long-term study on underwater ambient sound conducted in the higher latitudes of the Southern Ocean.

  38. For the first time, a total of 490 habitats across 35 countries in Europe have been assessed to determine their risk of collapse. The European Red List of Habitats, initiated by the European Commission, benefited from the knowledge and expertise of over 300 experts who reviewed the current status of all European natural and semi-natural terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. The assessment reveals that over a third of all land habitats are currently under threat, including more than three-quarters of bogs, over half of grasslands, and almost half of Europe's lakes, rivers and coasts. Forests, heaths and rocky habitats are overall less threatened, but remain of great concern. In Europe's neighbouring seas, mussels and seagrass beds and estuaries are threatened. Nearly a third of marine habitats in the Mediterranean Sea are at risk of collapse, as well as almost a quarter in the North-East Atlantic. Some habitats, particularly in the Black Sea, remain poorly studied and their status could not be determined. The methodology used by the European Red List of Habitats is based on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria, a unified global standard for assessing ecosystem risk.

  39. On 21 January 2017 , the town of Essen in Germany officially became the European Green Capital for 2017. In a ceremony, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, handed over the title for 2017 from Ljubljana to Essen. Commissioner Vella said: “I congratulate Essen on becoming European Green Capital 2017 and making the city a healthier place to live in. The impressive transformation from coal and steel industry to the greenest city in North Rhine-Westphalia is proof of Essen's successful structural change. Great progress in environmental sustainability required vision, good governance, strong leadership and citizens' involvement.”