Freshwater biodiversity conservation in National Parks from the Canary Islands in a context of water scarcity and invasive species

Freshwater biodiversity is disappearing at an accelerated rate as a result of human activities. This situation is especially alarming in regions of the planet where water scarcity derived from human demand and climate change pose a risk to a large number of species. This can even lead to the loss of species that have not yet been described. In this context, protected areas play a fundamental role as reservoirs of biodiversity, which needs to be properly studied to guarantee its preservation. This project focuses on the aquatic biodiversity of three National Parks of the Canary Islands archipelago (Teide, Garajonay and Caldera de Taburiente), which is especially interesting for three reasons: 1) it is poorly described due to the lack of inventories and studies scientists; 2) it includes a large number of endemisms; and 3) it presents a great vulnerability to water scarcity. The objectives of the project are to:

1) Hydrologically characterize the main surface water bodies;
2) Generate basic information on the taxonomic and genetic diversity of the communities of aquatic insects and diatoms;
3) Evaluate the current status of aquatic invasive species;
4) Determine the vulnerability of the species to climate change; and
5) Identify priority areas for the conservation of biodiversity and for the management of invasive species in a context of water stress and climate change.

Among other things, the CONACAN project will serve to design a sampling network for aquatic biodiversity within the parks studied, to train park personnel in its study and conservation, and to propose conservation measures for biodiversity and the management of invasive species.


Red de Parques Nacionales
Ref.: 2901S/2022

Project LeaderS

Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles Iglesias (IDAEA)
Núria Cid Puey (IRTA)

Start Date: 13/04/2022
End Date: 12/04/2026