The analysis of distribution data of odonates in NW Spain indicates the presence of 49 species. Four species (Macromia splendens, Oxygastra curtisii, Gomphus graslini and Coenagrion mercuriale) are protected under the European Habitats Directive and Spanish Law. Localities of collection of specimens collected between 1978 and 2004 were situated in UTM squares of 10�10 km to produce a map of species richness for the region. Additionally, we introduced all localities (UTM 1�1 km) where protected and rare species were found in a GIS system, on a map of the Natura 2000 network of the region. Our results indicate that O. curtisii and C. mercuriale are common in NW Spain. We identified as local rare taxa Brachytron pratense, Aeshna affinis and Erythromma viridulum, because they were found in less than 10 squares, and are also relatively rare in the Iberian peninsula. We selected as areas of special interest those that include all known populations of M. splendens, G. graslini, and B. pratense, all localities with at least two of the four protected species, and areas with more than 20 species. This gives a list of 24 hotspots, most of them (15) at least partially included in the Natura 2000 network. Unfortunately our analysis also reveals that the knowledge of this group is clearly fragmentary, with most records concentrated on the coastal region, and very few squares sampled more than 20 times, the minimum to obtain reliable data. We therefore need a systematic sampling of the region to properly identify areas with high species richness.
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