An ecological assessment framework for conservation targets in Natura 2000 sitesIn Dutch nature policy, the designation orders for Natura 2000 sites formulate the site-level conservation objectives for habitat types and species of the Birds and Habitats Directives. For the further implementation of the management plan process, a method was developed to determine the site-level conservation status more specifically (how far are we now?) and to formulate site-level conservation targets (how far can we get?). The criteria for assessing the site-level conservation status were derived from the EU Standard Data Form. The method was evaluated in pilots in inland sand areas in the provinces Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Gelderland.