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Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s10531-008-9476-3
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Title (Primary) Shedding light on the hidden costs of the Habitats Directive: the case of hamster conservation in Germany
Author Eppink, F.V.; Wätzold, F.
Source Titel Biodiversity and Conservation
Year 2009
Department OEKON; CLE
Volume 18
Issue 4
Page From 795
Page To 810
Language englisch
Keywords Common hamster; Cost assessment; Cost-effectiveness; Habitats Directive; Land use; Spatial planning; Species conservation
Abstract The EU Habitats Directive provides in Annexes II and IV a list of species that need to be conserved. In response to this obligation, Member States have implemented a variety of conservation measures. These measures include the rejection, modification or delay of land development plans, payments to landowners for implementing conservation measures and management actions such as breeding programmes. The extent of the cost of these various conservation measures is not always apparent. Particularly when land development plans are modified costs are hidden because there is no visible flow of financial resources. This may lead to an underestimation of conservation costs. In contrast, costs which directly lead to a flow of financial resources, such as expenses for management measures, are visible and may be given more attention. This difference in visibility may result in selecting conservation measures with high but hidden costs, whereas conservation measures with low but visible costs are neglected. The first purpose of this paper is to provide a framework that captures, along with the visible costs, the range of hidden costs relevant to the conservation of species protected by the Habitats Directive. The second purpose is to demonstrate the relevance of the problem of hidden costs by means of a case study. We apply the framework to estimate the costs of protecting the common hamster (Cricetus cricetus, listed in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive) in the region of Mannheim, Germany and find that the hidden costs of changes in development plans are higher than the visible conservation costs by at least an order of magnitude.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Eppink, F.V., Wätzold, F. (2009):
Shedding light on the hidden costs of the Habitats Directive: the case of hamster conservation in Germany
Biodivers. Conserv. 18 (4), 795 - 810 10.1007/s10531-008-9476-3