ESR 35:125-139 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00878

Representation and protection of threatened biodiversity by the largest Spanish regional network of protected areas

David Rodríguez-Rodríguez1,2,*, Javier Martínez-Vega1

1Institute of Economy, Geography and Demography, Spanish National Research Council (IEGD-CSIC), Associated unit GEOLAB, 28037 Madrid, Spain
2Andalucía Tech, European Topic Centre, University of Malaga, 29010 Málaga, Spain
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The main global strategy to stop biodiversity loss is the designation of protected areas (PAs). Spain is a highly biodiverse country. It has one of the world's greatest terrestrial PA coverages. However, the status of its biodiversity is delicate as a result of serious pressures, and some important areas for biodiversity are outside PAs. We used official census data to spatially assess how 71 habitats of community interest (HCIs), 126 regionally threatened flora, fauna and fungi species and subspecies (RTSs), and 33 globally threatened species or subspecies (GTSs) are represented in a network of 404 PAs in Andalusia, a region rich in biodiversity in southern Spain. We also assessed the legal and managerial protection afforded to these threatened habitats and species by those PAs. The Andalusian PA network expands across one-third of the region’s territory and includes the threatened species’ richest areas. However, it only covers 57% of the area of occupancy of RTSs, 81% of the regional area of occupancy of GTSs, and 53% of the extent of HCIs. Over 61% of the regional PA network area is assigned more than 1 PA designation category, although cumulative legal protection is marginally related to RTS richness and unrelated to GTS richness. RTSs and especially GTSs occupy the most relative area in Ramsar sites (i.e. wetlands of international importance), although these are of relatively minor importance for threatened habitats. Wetlands and agricultural areas are the broad ecosystem types showing the greatest numbers of RTSs and GTSs. Seven GTSs were not included in the Andalusian Register of Threatened Species. One hundred and eleven unprotected Areas of High Importance for Threatened Species (AHITSs) and one Area of High Importance for Threatened Biodiversity (AHITB) were identified. Those species and sites are good candidates for a targeted expansion of legal protection of biodiversity in the region.


KEY WORDS: Endangered species · Endangered habitats · Land use-land cover · Gap analysis · Reserves · Andalusia


Full text in pdf format 
Supplementary material 
Cite this article as: Rodríguez-Rodríguez D, Martínez-Vega J (2018) Representation and protection of threatened biodiversity by the largest Spanish regional network of protected areas. Endang Species Res 35:125-139. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00878

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -