The co-benefits of biodiversity conservation programmes on wider ecosystem services

Zoe Austin, Alistair McVittie, Davy McCracken, Andrew Moxey, Dominic Moran, Piran C L White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While multiple ecosystem service benefits are increasingly emphasised in policy as an outcome for land management, most conservation management and legislation is currently focused on conserving specific species and habitats. These management interventions may provide multiple co-benefits for other ecosystem services but more information is needed on where these synergies occur in order to realise these benefits. In this paper, we use expert data obtained from structured interviews with key stakeholders to examine the perceived impacts of 11 species-specific conservation schemes on wider ecosystem services in Scotland, UK. With some exceptions, impacts were perceived to be mostly positive or neutral, suggesting that there are many potential opportunities when looking to manage for the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. Unsurprisingly, 'wild species diversity' and 'environmental settings' are the ecosystem services perceived to benefit the most from species conservation management. Despite the clear benefits of aligning biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service objectives, many challenges remain and future policy and associated management will need to tackle issues of scale as well as the distribution of costs and benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalEcosystem Services
Early online date29 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 TheAuthors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


  • Agri-environment
  • Expert data
  • Habitat management
  • Interview
  • Management interventions
  • Species action framework

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