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Protected areas and the ranges of threatened species: Towards the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030

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Despite the protected area expansion over the last decades, biodiversity continues to decline. The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, as well as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, call for 30 % coverage by protected areas of the land and sea in order to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. Here, we use European species assessed as threatened on the IUCN Red List – the ones facing the most imminent threat of extinction - to guide the proposed expansion. We overlapped the ranges of 2290 threatened terrestrial and freshwater resident species and 127,046 terrestrial protected areas (28,130 Natura2000 sites and 98,916 nationally designated protected areas) in the EU and we found that species' EU ranges are covered on average 46.6 % by protected areas (41.5 % by Natura2000 and 34.0 % by nationally designated protected areas). We found 71 Gap0.1 species (

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