Nature protection areas of Europe are insufficient to preserve the threatened beetle Rosalia alpina (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): evidence from species distribution models and conservation gap analysis

Luciano Bosso*, Sonia Smeraldo, Pierpaolo Rapuzzi, Gianfranco Sama, Antonio P. Garonna, Danilo Russo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. Natura 2000 network (N2000) and national protected areas (NPAs) are recognised as the most important core ‘units’ for biological conservation in Europe. 2. Species distribution models (SDMs) were developed to detect the potential distribution of the rare and threatened cerambycid beetle Rosalia alpina L. in Europe, and the amount of suitable habitat within the N2000 network [special areas of conservation (SACs) and special protection areas (SPAs)], NPAs (e.g. national parks, regional parks, state reserves, natural monuments and protected landscapes) and the overall European protected area network (EPAN) (N2000 + NPAs) was quantified. 3. According to this analysis, the suitable habitat for R. alpina in Europe amounts to c. 754 171 km2 and stretches across substantially uninterrupted areas from Portugal to Romania (west to east) and from Greece to Germany (south to north). The overlay between the existing system of conservation areas in Europe (N2000 and NPAs) and the binary map for R. alpina showed that only c. 42% of potential habitat is protected. SACs and SPAs protect c. 25% and 21% of potential habitat, respectively. However, because the two site types often spatially overlap, when taken together the entire N2000 network protects c. 31% of potential habitat. Instead, NPAs offer a degree of protection of c. 29%. Overall, almost 60% of the area potentially suitable for the species is unprotected by the EPAN, an aspect that should be considered carefully when planning the conservation of this beetle at a large scale. 4. These results may also help to focus field surveys in selected areas where greater chances of success are encountered to save resources and increase survey effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-203
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Entomology
Volume43
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Biomod2
  • ecological niche models
  • habitat directive
  • insect conservation
  • IUCN
  • saproxylic beetles

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