Skip to main content

Is the Natura 2000 network sufficient for conservation of butterfly diversity? A case study in Slovenia

Abstract

Slovenia has one of the most extensive Natura 2000 networks in Europe with 259 SAC’s covering 31.4% of the country. To determine how well does the current network cover the areas of high butterfly diversity and/or aggregation of the butterfly species of conservation concern, the data from the recent survey for a distribution atlas were used. Altogether 99,423 records of 173 species collated after 1979 were used. The data distribution is slightly biased towards SAC’s, with 44.8% of localities within them, most likely due to sparsely sampled urban areas and intensive farmland areas which are found only outside SAC’s. The diversity and distribution of red listed species was evaluated at a 5 × 5 km grid square level. Additionally the importance of the size of the SAC’s was compared to their butterfly species diversity. In general the high diversity areas also hold the largest aggregation of red listed species with core areas concentrated in SW Slovenia. The SAC’s cover majority of areas with high diversity and the distribution of all but one threatened butterfly species. That species is Colias myrmidone, which is now considered extinct in Slovenia with no records after 1993. The most prominent areas with high conservation value in Slovenia not included in the SAC’s network are the Koroška region, Goriška Brda region, lower Sava River valley and Slovenske Gorice region. The butterfly diversity in small SAC’s is relatively high with increases in size only gradually increasing the species numbers, thus emphasizing the importance and conservation value of small SAC’s for sustaining high butterfly diversity in Slovenia.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  • Asher J, Warren M, Fox R, Harding P, Jeffcoate G, Jeffcoate S (2001) The millenium atlas of butterflies in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Balmford A et al (2005) The convention on biological diversity’s 2010 target. Science 307:212–213

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bos F, Bosveld M, Groenendijk D, van Swaay C, Wynhoff I (2006) De dagvlinders van Nederland: verspreiding en bescherming (Lepidoptera: Hesperoidea, Papilionoidea). Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis, Leiden, KNNV Uitgeverij, Urecht, European Invertebrate Survey—Nederland, Leiden

  • Carnelutti J (1992) Red list of Lepidoptera (Macrolepidoptera) in Slovenia (in Slovene). Varstvo narave 17:61–104

    Google Scholar 

  • Chiarucci A, Bacaro G, Rocchini D (2008) Quantifying plant species diversity in a Natura 2000 network: old ideas and new proposals. Biol Conserv 141:2608–2618

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • European Commission (EU) (2000) Managing Natura 2000 sites. The provisions of article 6 of the ‘Habitats’ Directive 92/43/CEE. EU, Luxembourg

    Google Scholar 

  • Dimitrakipoulos PG, Memtsas S, Troumbis AY (2004) Questioning the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 special areas of conservation strategy: the case of Crete. Global Ecol Biogeogr 13:199–207

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Early R, Thomas CD (2007) Multispecies conservation planning: identifying landscapes for the conservation of viable populations using local and continental species priorities. J Appl Ecol 44:253–262

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • European Commission (EU) (2009) Natura 2000 barometer. EU, Luxembourg [http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/barometer/index.en.htm]. Accessed Jan 2010

  • Fleishman E, Thomson JR, Mac Nally R, Murphy DD, Fay JP (2005) Using indicator species to predict species richness of multiple taxonomic groups. Conserv Biol 19:1125–1137

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Franco AMA, Hill JK, Kitschke C, Collingham YC, Roy DB, Fox R, Huntley B, Thomas CD (2006) Impacts of climate warming and habitat loss on extinctions at species’ low-latitude range boundaries. Glob Change Biol 12:1545–1553

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heltshe J, Forrester NE (1983) Estimating species richness using the jackknife procedure. Biometrics 39:1–11

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Maes D, Van Dyck H (2001) Butterfly diversity loss in Flanders (north Belgium): Europe’s worst case scenario? Biol Conserv 99:263–276

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maiorano L, Falcucci A, Garton EO, Boitani L (2007) Contribution of the Natura 2000 network to biodiversity conservation in Italy. Conserv Biol 21:1433–1444

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Predovnik Ž, Verovnik R (2004) New records of rare pierids (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) in Slovenia. Nat Slov 6(2):39–47

    Google Scholar 

  • Roy DB, Rothery P, Moss D, Pollard E, Thomas JA (2001) Butterfly numbers and weather: predicting historical trends in abundance and the future effects of climate change. J Anim Ecol 70:201–217

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas JA (2005) Monitoring change in the abundance and distribution of insects using butterflies and other indicator groups. Philos Trans Roy Soc B Biol Sci 360:339–357

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas JA, Clarke RT (2004) Extinction rates and butterflies—response. Science 305:1563–1564

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Uradni list RS (2002) Regulations on the classification of endangered plant and animal species in the Red list (in Slovene). Ur L Rep Slov 82:8893–8975

    Google Scholar 

  • van Swaay C, Warren M, Lois G (2006) Biotope use and trends of European butterflies. J Insect Conserv 10:189–209

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • van Swaay C, Cuttelod A, Collins S, Maes D, Munguira ML, Šašić M, Settele J, Verovnik R, Verstrael T, Warren M, Wiemers M, Wynhoff I (2010) European red list of butterflies. EU, Luxembourg

    Google Scholar 

  • Zagmajster M (2005) Overview of the final decisions of the Biogeographical seminars—Alpine region (in Slovene). Kranjska Gora (version 7.6.2005)

  • Zagmajster M, Skaberne B (2006) Overview of the final decisions of the Biogeographical seminars—continental region (in Slovene). Darova (CZ) (version 28.5.2006)

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would wish to thank all the volunteers for their attentive field work and data provided from their private collections. We are especially grateful to Chris van Swaay on the comments and improvements of the early version of the manuscript. The Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora provided all necessary resources for digitalization and maintenance of the records database.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rudi Verovnik.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

(DOC 276 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Verovnik, R., Govedič, M. & Šalamun, A. Is the Natura 2000 network sufficient for conservation of butterfly diversity? A case study in Slovenia. J Insect Conserv 15, 345–350 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-010-9308-0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-010-9308-0

Keywords

  • Lepidoptera
  • Butterflies
  • Distribution
  • SAC network
  • Habitat directive