Special protection area
Special protection areas (SPA) are areas included in the Natura 2000 network under the Birds Directive. These sites of community interest were put together from important areas for bird conservation (IBA), identified through scientific inventories under a program by the NGO Birdlife International.
To ensure the conservation of threatened bird species, the Birds Directive defined a list of species (Annex I) for which member states are required to create SPAs and provide conservation management.
Regulatory or contractual, these conservation measures must maintain the populations of the birds in question, reduce the pressure on them and facilitate migration on the European level.
Map of special protection areas in the 27 states of the European Union. The map is available in high definition. © European Environment Agency