Category Archives: Natura 2000

The Natura 2000 network in Spain

The Natura 2000 network in Spain has over 1500 protected sites (Mostly within existing natural and national park araes limits.) This makes it one of the largest national networks in the EU. These sites protect a wide range of habitats, including wetlands, coastal dunes, forests, grasslands, and mountain areas. Also, many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants that are unique to the country or rare in Europe. The Spanish government is responsible for ensuring that these sites are effectively managed and protected, and for implementing measures to conserve the habitats and species found within them.

What is the Natura 2000 network?

The Natura 2000 network is a European network of protected areas established under the European Union’s Habitats Directive and Birds Directive. Its aim is to ensure the survival of Europe’s most important and threatened species and habitats. The network covers over 27,000 sites in all EU member states, and includes Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated under the Habitats Directive, and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the Birds Directive. The sites in the Natura 2000 network are selected for their unique or rare habitats and species, and are protected through conservation measures at both the national and European level. The goal of the Natura 2000 network is to ensure the long-term viability of these protected species and habitats.

The Natura 2000 network in Spain
The Natura 2000 network in Spain
Positive and negative results

The Natura 2000 network has had mixed success in Spain, with some positive results in terms of habitat and species conservation, but also challenges in terms of effective management and enforcement. On the positive side, the Natura 2000 network has provided a framework for protecting important habitats and species, and has helped to raise awareness about the need for conservation. In some cases, Natura 2000 sites have seen significant improvements in the populations of threatened species and the quality of habitats.

However, there are also challenges in terms of ensuring the effective management and enforcement of the Natura 2000 network in Spain. Some sites have faced pressures from development, agriculture, and other human activities, and there have been issues with illegal hunting and fishing. There have also been concerns about the adequacy of resources for effective management and monitoring, as well as the coordination of efforts between different levels of government and stakeholders.

Overall, while the Natura 2000 network has had some successes in Spain, there is still much work to be done to ensure its long-term success and to effectively protect the country’s important habitats and species. (See Science Direct link in further reading.)

Further reading

Official website:
With the assistance of the European Environment Agency, the European Commission has developed a public Natura 2000 viewer which makes it possible to explore Natura 2000 sites in every part of the EU at the press of a button. Built on state of the art GIS (Geographical Information System) technology, the public viewer is an interactive and user-friendly tool that allows the user to travel seamlessly through the Natura 2000 sites over different types of backgrounds (street maps, satellite imagery, bio-geographical regions, Corine Land Cover, etc.) and to quickly locate sites and related information on species and habitats of interest.

Wikipedia general article:

Science Direct: Proposal of new Natura 2000 network boundaries in Spain based on the value of importance for biodiversity and connectivity analysis for its improvement:

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