Biodiversity and Conservation

, 17:3607 | Cite as

Determination of national conservation responsibilities for species conservation in regions with multiple political jurisdictions

  • Dirk S. SchmellerEmail author
  • Bernd Gruber
  • Bianca Bauch
  • Kaire Lanno
  • Eduardas Budrys
  • Valerija Babij
  • Rimvydas Juškaitis
  • Marek Sammul
  • Zoltan Varga
  • Klaus Henle
Original Paper


The Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) commits its signatories to the identification and monitoring of biodiversity. The European Union has implemented this commitment into its legislation. Despite the legal requirement resources are scarce, requiring a prioritization of conservation actions, including e.g. monitoring. Red lists are currently the most prominent tool for priority setting in applied conservation, despite the fact that they were not developed for that purpose. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that they do not always reflect actual conservation needs. As a response, the concept of national responsibility as a complementary tool was developed during the last two decades. The existing methods are country specific and mainly incomparable on an international scale. Here, we present a newly developed method, which is applicable to any taxonomic group, adjustable to different geographic scales, with little data requirements and clear categorizations. We apply the new method to over 1,000 species in several countries of different size and report on the applicability of our method and discuss problems that derive from the currently available data. Our method has several major advantages compared to currently available methods. It is applicable to any geographic range, allows automatization, given database availability, and is readily adjustable to future data improvements. It further has comparably low data demands by exploiting one of the most commonly available information on biodiversity, i.e. distribution maps. We believe that our method allows the allocation of the limited resources in nature conservation in the most sensible way, e.g. the sharing of monitoring duties, effectively selecting networks of protected areas, improving knowledge on biodiversity, and closing information gaps in many species groups.


Species conservation National responsibility Europe Evaluation methods International importance Distribution range 



This article is a result of the EU-project EuMon (, financed by the EU Commission (contract number 6463). We would like to thank other EuMon-colleagues for fruitful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk S. Schmeller
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bernd Gruber
    • 1
    • 3
  • Bianca Bauch
    • 1
  • Kaire Lanno
    • 4
  • Eduardas Budrys
    • 5
  • Valerija Babij
    • 6
  • Rimvydas Juškaitis
    • 5
  • Marek Sammul
    • 4
  • Zoltan Varga
    • 7
  • Klaus Henle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Conservation BiologyUFZ—Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à MoulisSaint GironsFrance
  3. 3.Department of Computational Landscape EcologyUFZ—Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesEstonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia
  5. 5.Institute of Ecology of Vilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  6. 6.Institute of BiologyZRC SAZU—Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and ArtsLjubljanaSlovenia
  7. 7.Department of Zoology and EvolutionKossut Lajos University of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

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