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  • Special areas of conservation Natura 2000 is an ecological network of protected areas in the territory of the European Union. In May 1992, governments of the European Union adopted legislation designed to protect the most seriously threatened habitats and species across Europe. This legislation is called the Habitats Directive and complements the Birds Directive adopted in 1979. These two Directives are the basis of the creation of the Natura 2000 network.