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Landscape Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 659–673 | Cite as

Planning for the future: identifying conservation priority areas for Iberian birds under climate change

  • María Triviño
  • Heini Kujala
  • Miguel B. Araújo
  • Mar Cabeza
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Species are expected to shift their distributions in response to global environmental changes and additional protected areas are needed to encompass the corresponding changes in the distributions of their habitats. Conservation policies are likely to become obsolete unless they integrate the potential impacts of climate and land-use change on biodiversity.

Objectives

We identify conservation priority areas for current and future projected distributions of Iberian bird species. We then investigate the extent to which global change informed priority areas are: (i) covered by existing protected area networks (national protected areas and Natura 2000); (ii) threatened by agricultural or urban land-use changes.

Methods

We use outputs of species distributions models fitted with climatic data as inputs in spatial prioritization tools to identify conservation priority areas for 168 bird species. We use projections of land-use change to then discriminate between threatened and non-threatened priority areas.

Results

19% of the priority areas for birds are covered by national protected areas and 23% are covered by Natura 2000 sites. The spatial mismatch between protected area networks and priority areas for birds is projected to increase with climate change. But there are opportunities to improve the protection of birds under climate change, as half of the priority areas are currently neither protected nor in conflict with urban or agricultural land-uses.

Conclusions

We identify critical areas for bird conservation both under current and climate change conditions, and propose that they could guide the establishment of new conservation areas across the Iberian Peninsula complementing existing protected areas.

Keywords

Bioclimatic envelope models Breeding birds Conservation planning Land-use change Natura 2000 Portugal Protected areas Reserve networks Spain Zonation software 

Notes

Acknowledgements

M.T. thanks Wilfried Thuiller, the participants of the Ibiochange Lab Retreat, the jury of her PhD defense and people from the Journal Club in Jyväskylä for insightful comments and suggestions. M.T. also thanks the Metapopulation Research Centre at the University of Helsinki for providing the supportive environment in which much of this work was developed. We thank two anonymous reviewers and the associated editor for their helpful comments. M.T. is supported by a FPI-MICINN fellowship and KONE foundation; H.K. by the LUOVA Doctoral Programme and the Australian National Environmental Research Program (NERP); M.C. by the Academy of Finland (Grant #257686).

Supplementary material

10980_2018_626_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1 mb)
Electronic supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1031 kb)

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biogeografía y Cambio Global, Museo Nacional de Ciencias NaturalesConsejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Biological and Environmental ScienceUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Metapopulation Research CentreUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum of DenmarkUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Rui Nabeiro Biodiversity ChairUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal

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