Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 13, pp 3755–3780 | Cite as

Are important bird areas and special protected areas enough for conservation?: the case of Bonelli’s eagle in a Mediterranean area

  • Pascual López-López
  • Clara García-Ripollés
  • Álvaro Soutullo
  • Luis Cadahía
  • Vicente Urios
Original Paper


The Bonelli’s eagle (BE) is considered by the European Union as a high-priority species for conservation in the Valencian Community (East of Spain). However, in 2006 the European Union opened a legal procedure against the Spanish Kingdom, accused of lacking of an adequate network of special protected areas (SPAs) to preserve the BE in the region. Here we evaluate whether important bird areas (IBAs) and SPAs network is enough to preserve this species, on the basis of a thorough analysis of habitat preferences. A GAP analysis is performed to conduct a revision of current SPAs and BirdLife proposed IBAs. Our results suggest that the current network of SPAs becomes insufficient to protect the BE. The IBAs network, although improves the current network of SPAs, increasing the percentage of BE potential habitat included, also results inadequate. We propose a new SPAs network according to the potential suitable habitat for the species. Given the trade-off between financial investment and the conservation of biodiversity, we propose to maximize the surface of potential habitat included in the protected network minimizing the surface of the region that would be necessary to protect, thus avoiding an unnecessary expense and otherwise unrealistic results.


GAP analysis GIS Habitat selection Hieraaetus fasciatus Predictive models Raptors Spain 



We would like to thank F. García-López, J.M. Aguilar and J. Verdejo for helping in the fieldwork and their valuable suggestions about raptor biology. We also thank P. Mateache, J. Jimenez and E. Rodríguez of the Conselleria de Territori i Habitatge of the Generalitat Valenciana for their support and GIS assistance. We are grateful to E. Barba for his support and confidence. P. López-López and L. Cadahía are supported by FPU grants of the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (references AP2005-0874 and AP2001-1444, respectively). All the research was compliant with all the laws of Spain where it was conducted. This paper is a part of P. López-López PhD thesis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pascual López-López
    • 1
    • 2
  • Clara García-Ripollés
    • 3
  • Álvaro Soutullo
    • 2
  • Luis Cadahía
    • 2
  • Vicente Urios
    • 2
  1. 1.“Cavanilles” Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Estación Biológica Terra Natura (CIBIO - Fundación Terra Natura)Universidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  3. 3.Plaza Jesús de Medinaceli 6-3°-14ValenciaSpain

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