This background document explains the process of preparing the Annex B report (Habitats Directive species) for the reporting period 2013–2018, with data from the period 2012-2017. Article 17 of the EU Habitats Directive requires Member States to submit a progress report every six years. The conservation status of all 81 Habitats Directive species (Annex II, IV and V) has been established according to the evaluation matrix prescribed by the European Commission. The report describes the reporting process and explains the decisions made by the species experts when filling in the report formats. The conservation status of each species was assessed for the following parameters: range, population, habitat and future prospects.