Species conservation profiles of spiders (Araneae) endemic to mainland Portugal

Branco, V.V., Henriques, S., Rego, C. & Cardoso, P (2019) Species conservation profiles of spiders (Araneae)endemic to mainland Portugal.

Biodiversity Data Journal, 7, e39315. DOI:10.3897/BDJ.7.e39315 (IF2019 1,331; Q3 Biodiversity Conservation)
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  • Dec, 2019



The Iberian Peninsula is a diverse region that contains several different bioclimatic areas within one confined space, leading to high biodiversity. Portugal distinguishes itself in this regard by having a high count of spider species (829) and a remarkable number of endemic spider species (42) for its size (approximately 88,890 km2). However, only one non-endemic species (Macrothele calpeiana) is currently protected by the Natura 2000 network and no endemic spider species (aside from Anapistula ataecina) has been assessed according to the IUCN Red List criteria. The objective of this paper is to assess all non-assessed endemic species (41) as well as M. calpeiana.

New information

The 43 assessed species belong to 15 families, the richest being ZodariidaeDysderidaeLinyphiidae and Gnaphosidae. In general and despite the lack of information on more than half the species, general patterns and trends could be found.

Only 18 species (including M. calpeiana and A. ataecina) had enough data to allow their EOO (extent of occurrence) and AOO (area of occurrence) to be quantified. Of these, we modelled the distribution of 14 epigean species, eight of which were found to be widespread. The remaining six fulfilled at least one of the criteria for threatened species. Four species are troglobiont, all of which meet the EOO and AOO thresholds for threatened species. The remaining 25 Portuguese endemics had no reliable information on their range. Only nine species out of the 43 are estimated to be in decline and 11 are stable, with the majority of species having no information on trends (23 species).

Forest areas, sand dunes, shrublands and caves host the majority of species. As such, the threats to Portuguese endemics reflect the diversity of habitats they occupy. Urbanisation and climate change seem to be the most important threats to these species, although other factors are also important and represented across the data.

A considerable proportion of the currently known Portuguese endemic species can be found in national protected areas, with higher prominence to the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros, Douro Internacional, Vale do Guadiana, Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina and Arrábida Natural Parks. These correspond mostly to areas that have been particularly well sampled during the last two decades.