% of land,  % of marine waters are covered by protected areas.
  species and   habitats are protected under EU law

Spain is the second largest EU country with a terrestrial area of close to 506 000 km² and a marine area over 1 million km² split between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It consists of the peninsular mainland and the volcanic Atlantic Canary Islands and the Mediterranean Balearic Islands, as well as the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the plazas de soberanía on the coast of North Afrcia. It is bordered by 5 other countries. The highest point is Teide (Canary Islands) at 3 718m. Spain has a population of 46.9 million people and a population density of 93.1 people per km².

Protected areas

  Protected areas

 % of land

 % of marine waters

There are a total of   protected areas in ,   Natura 2000 sites -   Special Protection Areas (Birds Directive) and   Sites of Community Importance (Habitat Directive) - as well as   sites designated under national laws.


 % of the network is protected only through national laws

 % of the network consists solely of Natura 2000 sites

 % consist of and overlap between the two.

The average size of protected areas in Europe is lower compared to other regions of the world. This largely reflects the high degree of fragmentation of the land in Europe due to urbanisation, infrastructure and general intensification of land use. At a EU level 50% of protected areas have an area of less than 1 km². The 10 largest marine sites account for 68% of the marine area, while the 10 largest land sites account for 41% of the land area covered by protected areas

Size distribution of 's land protected areas network



Size distribution of 's marine protected areas network



Natura 2000 sites in cover   species and   habitats from the nature directives. The number of species and habitats protected in each site varies depending on the location of the site, the biodiversity in the region, the designation being used, and the features the site is being created to protect. For   sites there is only 1 feature being protected with   sites having more than 20 features.


Protected species

Species protected in under EU law are protected under the Habitats Directive and under the Birds Directive. The Habitats Directive has a total of 2 500 species on its list, the Birds Directive has a total of 500 species of wild birds protected.

  species protected under EU law in

  species are unique to

  species under the Habitats Directive

  species under the Birds Directive

Conservation status: Habitats Directive

 % of species are considered to be Good

 % of species are considered to be Poor

 % of species are considered to be Bad

 % of species are considered to be Unknown

Conservation Status by Taxa


Protected species composition by Taxa


Protected habitats

Habitats protected in under EU law are protected under the Habitats Directive. The Habitats Directive has a total of 233 habitats on its list.

  habitats protected under EU law in .

Conservation status: Habitats Directive

 % of habitats are considered to be Good

 % of habitats are considered to be Poor

 % of habitats are considered to be Bad

Conservation Status by Group

Habitat composition by Group








MAES in Spain:

The Spanish National Ecosystem Assessment (SNEA), began in 2009, completed its biophysical evaluation in 2012 (Sythesis report). This project included an assessment of the condition of the Spanish ecosystems and biodiversity, a future scenario exercise and a spatial explicit analysis on biodiversity, ecosystem services, land use change and socioeconomic variables.

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Green infrastructure in Spain:

Previously, the focus of Spanish policy was to implement measures ensuring connectivity between existing protected areas rather than promoting the development of a comprehensive and coherent ecological network (Sygyzy, 2010). More recent changes to national legislation and strategy, however, include provisions for the establishment of a national Strategy on Green Infrastructure, Connectivity and Ecological Restoration. The elaboration of this national strategy is on-going (Trinomics et al., 2016).

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National Biodiversity strategy for Spain:

To report on progress to the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy, the European Commission extracted relevant information from the EU Member States’ 5th national reports to the CBD. Of the 5 countries which had not finalized their national reports at the time of the synthesis (26th of August 2015), Greece, Malta, Portugal and Lithuania provided information to be included in the synthesis.

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