In many European Union countries there is little scientific work to assess the need to conserve ultramafic areas for their biodiversity attributes. Recognition of serpentine landscapes in the Habitat Directive of the European Union has been poor. Furthermore, there is little scientific literature assessing the need to conserve ultramafic areas for their biodiversity attributes in many European Union countries. This situation is critical in Spain: the largest serpentine outcrop in the Iberian Peninsula, called the Sierra Bermeja, supports a distinctive flora and fauna with numerous uncommon or rare endemic species. These species are at risk from high levels of disturbance and habitat destruction, and have unequal levels of protection. We review the biodiversity attributes of the Sierra Bermeja, and examine the need for conservation implementation from a policy perspective. This study provides the background and a framework for characterizing the biodiversity of Sierra Bermeja, highlighting 39 endemic species. Proposals for the declaration of this mountain as a national park are reinforced, and the policy and implementation shortcomings to creating a park are examined.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2