Red List habitat classification > RLB - Coastal habitats > RLB1.6c Macaronesian coastal dune scrub

Macaronesian coastal dune scrub

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLB1.6c
Threat status
Europe Endangered
EU Endangered
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)


This habitat type consists of coastal dunes of the Canarian archipelago, colonized by herbaceous and woody plants often with succulent leaves and stems. It is absent in the islands of El Hierro and La Palma. Shifting dunes are populated by herbaceous plant communities of the alliance Polycarpeo niveae-Euphorbion paraliae and the fixed grey dunes are covered by the perennial woody communities of the Traganion moquinii. In both cases vegetation cover is sparse, and the climate is Mediterranean arid or desert-like.

Indicators of good quality:

  • No disturbance signals
  • Low vegetation cover
  • Absence of invasive alien species

Characteristic species
For full habitat description, please download the habitat factsheet.

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

This habitat has experienced a reduction in quantity of 50% over the past 50 years. Additionally, it has also experienced a reduction in quality with a severity of 80% which has affected 50% of the extent. It is therefore assessed as Endangered under Criterion A1 and C/D1.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Endangered A1, C/D1
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Endangered A1, C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
    • Continuous urbanisation
    • Discontinuous urbanisation
    • Dispersed habitation
    • Disposal of household / Recreational facility waste
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Walking, horseriding and non-motorised vehicles
  • Invasive, other problematic species and genes
    • Invasive non-native species

Habitat restoration potential

Recovery after destruction is slow in arid environments. Artificial restoration is not reliable at the moment, since it is unlikely to obtain seeds or seedlings of Traganum mocquinii, the adequate plant to perform a sound ecologic restoration. Restoration processes will not be successful if the appropriate biological material provided by local species is not used.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Conservation of fragile sand dune ecosystems in areas under heavy human pressure due to touristic activity needs to be implemented through the restriction of access to areas in a way that the dune dynamic system maintains its functionalities. Additionally, restriction to the building of houses and roads which interrupt the sand wind-blown flux from the outer beach areas to inland is essential for this purpose. A general monitoring scheme to control invasion by alien species is also needed.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Legal protection of habitats and species
  • Measures related to hunting, taking and fishing and species management
    • Specific single species or species group management measures


For each habitat a distribution map was produced from a wide variety of sources indicating known and potential occurrences of the habitat in 10x10 km grids within Europe. Occurrences in grid cells were given in two classes: actual distribution from relatively reliable sources (surveys, expert knowledge), and potential distribution based on models or less reliable indicators. Please download the fact sheet to see the map.

Geographic occurrence and trends

EU28 Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Canary Islands Present 3.12 Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 30500 43 3.12
EU28+ 43 3.12
AOO = the area occupied by a habitat measured in number of 10x10 km grid cells.
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).

Characteristic species

Not available

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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