, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 231–244 | Cite as

Trophic Rewilding Advancement in Anthropogenically Impacted Landscapes (TRAAIL): A framework to link conventional conservation management and rewilding

  • Pil Birkefeldt Møller PedersenEmail author
  • Rasmus Ejrnæs
  • Brody Sandel
  • Jens-Christian Svenning
Research Article


A variety of rewilding initiatives are being implemented across Europe, generally characterized by a more functionalist approach to nature management compared to the classic compositional approach. To address the increasing need for a framework to support implementation of rewilding in practical management, we present TRAAIL—Trophic Rewilding Advancement in Anthropogenically Impacted Landscapes. TRAAIL has been co-produced with managers and other stakeholders and provides managers with a framework to categorize rewilding initiatives and to link conventional nature management and rewilding by guiding steps towards a higher degree of self-regulation. Applying TRAAIL to data obtained in a Danish survey of rewilding-inspired initiatives we find that out of 44 initiatives there is no “Full rewilding” initiatives, 3 “Near-full rewilding” initiatives, 23 “Partial rewilding” initiatives, 2 “minimal rewilding” initiatives and 16 “Effort-intensive conservation management” initiatives. This study shows how TRAAIL can guide and inform trophic rewilding on a local and national scale.


Categorization Conservation management Ecological restoration Large herbivores Protected areas Trophic rewilding 



This work was supported by Aarhus University (PBMP) and the Aage V. Jensen Foundations (PBMP, RE). We also consider this study a contribution to JCS’s Carlsberg Foundation Semper Arden project MegaPast2Future (grant CF16-0005), to the Danish National Research Foundation Niels Bohr professorship project Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA), and to JCS’ VILLUM Investigator project (VILLUM FONDEN, grant 16549). The authors would like to thank an editor and two reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve this work. For feedback on the TRAAIL model the authors would like to thank the members of EnviNa (Environment and Nature), The Nature Agency (Naturstyrelsen), and participants at the workshop “Visual Communication Clinic” at University of Cambridge (organized by University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) and Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG)).

Supplementary material

13280_2019_1192_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (130 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 130 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section for Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity, Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityÅrhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE)Aarhus UniversityÅrhus CDenmark
  3. 3.Section for Biodiversity & Conservation, Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityÅrhusDenmark
  4. 4.Department of BiologySanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

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