Import of Northern cardinal – risk to biodiversity in Norway


Report no:

Publishing: 30.06.2023

Key message:

VKM will assess whether import and keep of the North American passerine bird species Northern cardinal poses a threat to biodiversity in Norway.

The assessment is commissioned by the Norwegian Environmental Authority which receives applications to import the species for private keeping.

The Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is native in Central and North America, up to Hudson Bay in Canada. In Europe it is kept in aviaries but has been found in the wild several places.


In addition to assessing the risk to biodiversity, VKM has been requested to describe potential scenarios for the spread and establishment of the species in Norway, either through migration from Central Europe or from private keep within Norway.

VKM will also evaluate the effect of climate change on these scenarios.

Project group

The project group consists of:

Lawrence Kirkendall, member of the VKM Panel on Biodiversity (Scientific Leader of the project group)
Gaute Velle, Chair of the VKM Panel on Biodiversity
Anders Bryn, Member of the VKM Panel on Biodiversity
Martin Malmstrøm, VKM Secretariat (Project Manager)
Daniel Flø, VKM Secretariat

The risk assessment will be approved by the VKM Panel on Biodiversity and is due for publication on June 30th this year.


The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00

P.O. Box 222 Skøyen
0213 Oslo

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