Conserving what, where and how? Cost-efficient measures to conserve biodiversity in Denmark

Biodiversity conservation efforts in Europe have traditionally focused on farmland and open nature areassuch as grasslands, heathlands and meadows, while little attention has been devoted to conservationactions in forest. Using detailed information on the geographical distribution of about 900 terrestrialspecies in Denmark we apply systematic conservation planning techniques to identify how to protectbiodiversity at the lowest cost to society. The results suggest that conservation actions in forest shouldbe given a higher priority. Thus, three to four times the number of forest species are protected per millionD compared with species living in open land natural areas. Furthermore, a gap analysis finds the currentdesignation of Natura 2000 and other protected areas is skewed toward open land natural areas, andinsufficient to meet the conservation targets on forest species.