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No. 470: The most important habitats for red-listed species in Denmark

Nygaard, B., Moeslund, J.E, Ejrnæs, R., Mielec, C.L., Carl, H., Clausen, K.K., Dylmer, E., Elmeros, M., Flensted, K., Fog, K., Goldberg, I., Hansen, M.D.D., Helsing, F., Jørum, P., Lissner, J., Læssøe, T., Madsen, H.B., Misser, J., Olsen, K., Søchting, U., Wiberg-Larsen, P. og Wind, P. 2021. De vigtigste levesteder for rødlistede arter i Danmark. Aarhus Universitet, DCE – Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi, 118 s. - Videnskabelig rapport nr. 470. http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR470.pdf


This report provides an overview of  the most important habitats for red-listed species in Denmark. The term “red-listed species” covers species assigned to one of the red-list categories Regionally Extinct (RE), Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN),  Vulnerable (VU), Near Threatened (NT) or Data Deficient (DD) on the Danish Red List. The Danish Red List includes the following species groups: Vascular plants, mosses, fungi, lichens, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, moths, bees, hoverflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, spiders, ground beetles, dung-beetles, long-horned beetles, leaf beetles, weevils, water beetles, mayflies, stoneflies. caddisflies, alderflies, crane flies, blackflies and fairy shrimps. In order to halt the loss of biodiversity, these red-listed species should have the highest priority in the policymaking, planning and management of Danish nature. Although not all groups of species are covered by the Danish Red List, it seems that most red-listed species have strikingly similar habitat requirements.

The habitat descriptions in this report are divided into 13 habitats and six substrates: Wet forests, dry forests, nutrient-poor and dry forests, dry grassland, heaths and dunes, saltmarshes, alkaline fens and calcareous meadows, springs, wet meadows and heaths , peat bogs, large streams, clear-water lakes, ephemeral ponds, pollen and nectar, large trees, dead wood, dung, carcasses and large stones.

For each habitat and substrate, the rapport includes a general definition and a list of the most important requirements for the species associated with the habitat. For each group of species we have estimated the proportion of red-listed species associated with the habitat.

Marine habitats are not covered by this report, as our knowledge of endangered species in the sea is insufficient. Habitats with importance for relatively few red-listed species, are only mentioned peripherally. Generally, most red-listed species are either specialists, slow-growing or stress tolerant species, and while open landscapes (including open forests), dead wood and pollen and nectar sources are among the important elements of these species’ habitats there are significant variations in their specific requirements. Based on these findings, we suggest that future policymaking, planning and management of Danish nature takes a holistic approach and attempts to recreate the lacking natural processes that generate the habitat elements that are important for red-listed species as highlighted here. Consequently, we further propose that future strategies for management of red-listed species in Denmark are based in the knowledge presented in this report.