Nature development in the Netherlands is often planned on contaminated soils of former agricultural land and in floodplain areas. We developed a new method to predict ecological vulnerability in wildlife using autecological information. The method was tested for six chemicals: copper, zinc, cadmium, DDT, chlorpyrifos, and ivermectin. Vulnerability to essential metals copper and zinc was correlated with soil and sediment habitat preference. Vulnerability to bioaccumulating substances cadmium and DDT was correlated with higher positions in the food web and with lifespan. Vulnerability to chlorpyrifos and ivermectin was determined by preference for soil habitats. The ecological vulnerability analysis approach facilitates ordinal ranking of vulnerable species, with ecological relevance. It has potential for further developments in risk assessment.
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