CSS Macaronesia - Loro Parque Fundación

Based on Tenerife Island, the Center for Species Survival Macaronesia (CSSM) was established in 2022. This Center aims to assess the current situation of biodiversity in Macaronesia, a geographical region that comprises five archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean: the Azores, Madeira, the Selvagens Islands, Canary Islands, and Cape Verde. This region is a biodiversity hotspot with a large number of endemic species, and therefore important for conservation strategies and priorities. By understanding the extinction risk and threats of Macaronesian species, the CSSM aims to promote the conservation of key species and be part of the Reverse the Red movement to ensure the survival of wild species and reduce biodiversity decline.

The Center for the Survival of Species Macaronesia (CSSM) in partnership with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) and Loro Parque Foundation (LPF) aims to provide assessment, planning and action for species conservation in the biogeographic region of Macaronesia. This region is a biodiversity hot spot with a high level of endemism in flora and fauna. From a marine perspective, is characterized by the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME). The CCLME is one of the four major upwelling systems in the world and creates 8% of the primary production in the world ocean. This primary production supports many species of marine mammals, fishes and birds and other organisms. All these characteristics make Macaronesia a key region of great importance for the conservation of both marine and terrestrial organisms.
Since Macaronesia is made up of 5 archipelagos belonging to different countries, coordinated actions are necessary to generate effective conservation plans at the regional level. It is there that the CSSM aims to serve as a driving force for conservation in the Region.
The CSSM plans to collaborate with other CSS, NGOs, Zoos, regional governments, communities and other stakeholders related to the conservation of species to influence the creation of favourable policies for the survival of the species.
Since the Center was created this 2022, the first step was to review the assessments carried out by IUCN to understand the extinction risks of species in Macaronesia. The CSSM is also focused on obtaining information regarding species that are yet to be assessed and species that lack adequate protection by the government authorities despite the threat to their survival.
The review of the assessments carried out by IUCN, reports 3447 species globally assessed in Macaronesia since 1996. Eleven species have gone extinct and 734 species are under threat: 243 species are Critically Endangered, 256 are Endangered and 235 are Vulnerable. Plants are the most threatened group as they represent 38% of Critically Endangered and 44% of Endangered species. Arthropods are the second most threatened group, 1216 species (35%) are Macaronesian endemism, of which 542 species (45%) are under threat. However, the extinction risks and the groups under threat vary within the region, highlighting the uniqueness of the archipelagos and the importance of their conservation. In this sense, the CSSM aims to promote the partnership between the different institutions to ignite the conservation efforts in Macaronesia. 
Focusing on the Canary Islands, the IUCN has categorised 208 species in danger of extinction (Critically Endangered and Endangered categories). However, there is a 72% discrepancy and a 28% concordance between the categories given by the IUCN Red List and the Canarian catalogue of protected species. Besides, there are 17 species that, despite being listed as endangered by the IUCN and the Canary Islands Government (concordance), do not have recovery and/or conservation plans.

Supporting the Species Conservation


Review of the assessments carried out by IUCN in the Macaronesia

To understand the extinction risks of species in Macaronesia the first step of the CSSM was a review of the assessments carried out by IUCN.

CSS Annual Reports

Learn about the CSS's work and results.