Birds are valuable: the case of vagrants

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Ecotourism, 2019, 19, (1), pp. 82-92
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© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Biodiversity values need to be appropriately quantified and thence incorporated in future land development decisions. We assessed the economic and conservation-fundraising potential of vagrant Aleutian Terns in New South Wales, Australia. We found that an estimated 375–581 birdwatchers travelled far (580 ± 522 km [mean ± SD]) and reacted quickly (22% of visits were within the first week and 47% within the first two weeks) to see Aleutian Terns in an area where they had never been seen. We estimated that the total expenditure of these birdwatchers ranged from ∼ $199,000–$363,000 AUD and we further estimated that birdwatchers would have been cumulatively willing to donate upwards of $30,000 AUD to a non-governmental conservation organisation in order to have viewed the terns. These results suggest that birdwatchers highly value vagrant birdwatching and conservation campaign potential should be explored in future long-staying vagrant bird occurrences.
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