Big History


International Day for Biological Diversity

International Day for Biological Diversity


Ana María Pujante Mora

From agreement to action: build back biodiversity” is the theme chosen for this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity. Following the signing of the Kummnig-Montreal agreement in December 2022, the celebration of this International Day reminds us of the need to halt and reverse the loss of nature by 2050.

The diversity of ecosystems, species and genetics intertwine to form the so-called “web of life” that ensures survival and well-being on our planet. Any imbalance or interference with this web leads to a loss of biodiversity and a real threat to the survival and well-being of all living things.

Law 42/2007 of 13 December 2007, on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, establishes the basic legal regime for the conservation, sustainable use, enhancement and restoration of natural heritage and biodiversity in Spain.

In order to know the Natural and Biodiversity Heritage that we have in our country, the so-called “Master Lists” have been drawn up, which are controlled, structured, standardised and agreed by experts. Three standard lists were published in 2017:

  • Terrestrial species (including freshwater species)
  • Marine species
  • The terrestrial habitats present in Spain
Number of species included in the standard list of wild species in the marine and terrestrial environment

To celebrate this International Day of Biological Diversity we present a series of wild species that we have photographed over the years in the Aras and Losilla area.

Male of Actias isabelae

The Spanish moon moth, also known as Gaellsia isabelae, was discovered in 1848 in Pegerinos (Ávila) and is considered to be the most beautiful butterfly in Europe. Currently, the species is not endangered, although it is a vulnerable species. It is included in the Bern II Convention, in CITES, in the IUCN-V and in Directive 92/43/EEC (European Union Habitats Directive).

Scops owl (Otus scops)

The European Scops Owl is one of the smallest nocturnal birds of prey, a migratory species that visits us in spring and summer. Alterations to its habitat and the use of pesticides are the two main threats to the conservation of the species. In the Red Book of the Birds of Spain 2021, the European Scops Owl is included in the threat category VU – Vulnerable.

Bladder-senna (Colutea arborescens)

The bladder-senna is a large shrub that grows up to 4 or 5 m in height and has a characteristic globular, pinkish-coloured fruit, which becomes a natural rattle when it dries. It is considered a species of special interest in Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia.

Looking-glass orchid (Ophrys speculum)

Orchids are a group that has been highly appreciated by all the cultures of the world, considered in ancient times as flowers “worthy of the gods”. In the Valencian Community there are 69 species of wild orchids. It should be noted that they are the group of higher plants with the highest number of endangered species in the world.

Snouted viper (Vipera latastei)

In the Valencian Community it is scattered throughout the wild and mountainous areas of the territory, being a scarce species and difficult to find. Due to its venomous nature, this snake is the most feared and hated by humans. However, bites are very infrequent, given the elusive nature of the species, and it is a treasure of our natural heritage that we must respect and appreciate.

Wood mouse and breeding (Apodemus sylvaticus)

The wood mouse is one of the smallest mammals, weighing a maximum of 30 grams. It is a protected species, with a wide distribution at present, but its potential distribution will be reduced as a result of climate change.

In order to “build back biodiversity” it is essential to know the richness of our environment, the number of wild species that surround us and how we must protect them. Disseminating and making them known is one of the essential tasks that we at Big History will try to carry out.

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