The Natura 2000 Network is a European Network, made up of areas considered key to ensuring the long-term conservation of Europe’s rarest and most endangered species and habitats, helping to halt biodiversity loss. This network extends to all 28 countries of the European Union and results from the application of Council Directive 79/409 / EEC of 2 April 1979 (Birds Directive) – repealed by Directive 2009/147 / EC of 30 November – and Directive 92/43 / EEC (Habitats Directive).
The foundations of the natura 2000 network are two types of classified areas: 1. Special Protection Areas (SPAs), established under the Birds Directive, which aim to ensure the conservation of bird species, their habitats, and bird species. migratory and regularly occurring; and 2. Special Conservation Zones (ZECs) established under the Habitats Directive, with the ultimate objective of “contributing to ensuring biodiversity through the conservation of natural habitats and habitats of species of wild flora and fauna considered threatened within the European Union “
In Portugal, the Natura 2000 Network consists of a set of Community Importance Sites that are part of the National List of Sites and include 106 areas designated under the Habitats Directive, of which 96 have already been recognized as SICs (Community Importance Sites). . Under the Birds Directive, 62 SPAs are classified, which together with the SCIs form the so-called Natura 2000 Network.