Conservation Objectives for the Southern Waters of Gibraltar

The conservation objective of the Southern Waters of Gibraltar is that of ensuring that the status of European features are maintained or achieve favourable conservation status allowing for natural change. To this end, a monitoring programme is being implemented and scientific research conducted.

Maintaining favourable conservation status

The maintenance or restoration of ‘favourable conservation status’ (FCS) is the overall objective for all natural habitats and species of wild fauna and flora listed in the Annexes of the Habitats Directive.

FCS for species is defined in Article 1 (i) of the Habitats Directive as follows;

“Conservation status of a species means the sum of the influences acting on the species concerned that may affect the long-term distribution and abundance of its populations within the territory referred to in Article 2. The conservation status will be taken as 'favourable' when:

  • Population dynamics data on the species concerned indicate that it is maintaining itself on a longterm basis as a viable component of its natural habitats,
  • The natural range of the species is neither being reduced nor is likely to be reduced for the foreseeable future, and
  • There is, and will probably continue to be, a sufficiently large habitat to maintain its populations on a long-term basis."

 

This definition contains the main parameters (population dynamics, range, sufficient habitat, prospects of long-term viability) for defining and assessing both the current and target conservation status. It is important to note that the assessment of conservation status not only includes an element of ‘diagnosis’ based on current conditions, but also an important element of ‘prognosis’ based on influences. Such foreseeable future influences could be specific or general threats, positive or negative, medium- to long-term impacts, etc.

Similarly, FCS for natural habitats is defined under Article 1 (e) of the Habitats Directive;

“Conservation status of a natural habitat means the sum of the influences acting on a natural habitat and its typical species that may affect its long-term natural distribution, structure and functions as well as the long-term survival of its typical species within the territory referred to in Article 2. The conservation status of a natural habitat will be taken as ‘favourable’ when:

  • Its natural range and areas it covers within that range are stable or increasing, 
  • The specific structure and functions which are necessary for its long-term maintenance exist and are likely to continue to exist for the foreseeable future, and
  • The conservation status of its typical species is favourable as defined in (i)”.

 

Southern Waters of Gibraltar Management Scheme, EU Natura 2000 Site. Gibraltar