On Monday 22nd, the report on the state of Biodiversity in Spain, prepared by the Center for the Survival of Macaronesian Species of the Loro Parque Fundación and the Spanish Committee of the IUCN, was presented at the Seville Aquarium Auditorium. A great step in the knowledge of the extreme situation of risk of Biodiversity that our country faces.
The Educational and Conservation project will be carried out in several Andalusian institutions belonging to AIZA (Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquariums).
In Spain, according to data from the IUCN Red List of threatened species, there are currently a total of 193 species in critical danger of extinction, 418 endangered, and 498 vulnerable.
Against this background, the Center for the Survival of Macaronesian Species (CSSM) of the Loro Parque Fundación, and the Spanish Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, have published the report “State of Biodiversity in Spain 2023¨.
The objective of this complete document is to collaborate in the implementation, throughout the national territory, of the so-called Conservation Cycle that has been defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A series of actions that offer hope for the preservation of threatened species.
In this context, May 22, the International Day for Biological Diversity, has been chosen to present the report and the project that will give visibility to the situation of critically endangered species in all the autonomous communities. In the case of Andalusia, the project has the collaboration of Oasys MiniHollywood, the Spanish Committee of the IUCN, the Córdoba Zoo Conservation Center, and the Seville Aquarium, which will develop the educational and conservation project.
The realization of this exhaustive catalog is essential to develop actions to defend the natural environment, and represents a huge step in the work for the protection of endangered species.
More than half of the species considered threatened by the IUCN are not classified in the national or regional catalogues, or are classified with a category other than those established by the Red List, so it is necessary to update scientific information on these species. Species on the Red List and reassess them, to harmonize the indicators of biodiversity loss with their conservation tools.
The hot spots of species loss in Spain
The loss of species in Spain is alarming. In addition, several hot spots of critically threatened biodiversity have been detected within the Spanish Territory. These are the areas where a greater number of critically endangered species are concentrated, according to the IUCN, which require greater attention and protection.
These include the Doñana National Park (Andalusia), the Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park (Castilla la Mancha), the Sierra de Espadán Natural Park (Valencia), the Jandía Natural Park (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands), the Natural Doramas (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands), Garajonay National Park (La Gomera, Canary Islands), Tibataje and Las Playas (El Hierro, Canary Islands).
The situation in Andalusia
In Andalusia there are 59 Critically Endangered and 147 Endangered species. The most threatened taxonomic group (considering the critically endangered and endangered categories) are plants with 74 species, followed by arthropods with 51, and cartilaginous fish with 32.
In our community, one of the arthropods that is in critical danger is the gambilusa (Linderiella baetica), a crustacean endemic to Andalusia up to 15mm and discovered in 2007 in temporary rain pools in Cádiz. This species is found in a single locality and is threatened due to increasing urbanization and pollution that leads to a decrease in the quality of its habitat.
In Andalusia, two critically endangered biodiversity hotspots were identified in the Doñana National Park, which also includes the surroundings of the Guadalquivir river, and the Sierra Nevada National Park.
The citizen science educational project, promoted by the collaborators of this project in Andalucía Oasys MiniHollywood, the Spanish Committee of the IUCN, the Córdoba Zoo Conservation Center, and the Seville Aquarium, will be carried out through the iNaturalist application .
This program hopes to raise awareness and increase the sensitivity of citizens for biodiversity, in addition to serving as a tool with which to collect information on threatened species, which will be very useful for their conservation.