Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 235–244 | Cite as

Extinction trends of threatened invertebrates in peninsular Spain

  • Olga Lucía Hernández-Manrique
  • David Sanchez-Fernandez
  • Catherine Numa
  • Eduardo Galante
  • José R. Verdú
  • Jorge M. Lobo


Using information from two recently published atlases of threatened invertebrate species in peninsular Spain, we examined the climatic, land use and geographic characteristics of the 100 km2 UTM cells with most likelihood of suffering extinctions (extinction cells), as well as the attributes of the species prone to population extinctions. Extinction cells have had significantly (1) lower precipitation values, (2) higher temperatures, (3) higher percentages of anthropic land uses or (4) higher rates of anthropization during the last 20 years than the remaining cells. Nevertheless, probable extinctions may occur under a wide range of climatic and anthropization change rates and these variables can only explain a low proportion (~5 %) of variability in the occurrence or number of extinction cells. Aquatic species seem to suffer higher local extinction rates than terrestrial species. Interestingly, many invertebrate species with approximately 25 or less occurrence cells are on a clear trajectory towards extinction. These results outline the difficulties and uncertainties in relating probable population extinctions with climatic and land use changes in the case of invertebrate data. However, they also suggest that a third of the considered Spanish threatened species could have lost some of their populations, and that current conservation efforts are insufficient to reverse this tendency.


Extinction Threatened species Arthropods Molluscs Species decline Spain 



This work was supported by project Atlas of the Threatened Invertebrates of Spain Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Special thanks to Dr Ángel M. Felicísimo and SECAD Geonetwork for the digital climatic data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Lucía Hernández-Manrique
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Sanchez-Fernandez
    • 2
    • 3
  • Catherine Numa
    • 1
  • Eduardo Galante
    • 1
  • José R. Verdú
    • 1
  • Jorge M. Lobo
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad CIBIO, Unidad de Diversidad y Comportamiento AnimalUniversidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología EvolutivaMuseo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSICMadridSpain
  3. 3.Facultad de Biología, Departamento de Ecología e HidrologíaUniversidad de MurciaMurciaSpain

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