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Social value of bird conservation on private forest lands in Pennsylvania, USA
Ecological Economics  (IF6.536),  Pub Date : 2022-04-02, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107426
Sadikshya Sharma, Melissa M. Kreye

Global biodiversity is in decline due to factors such as land-use change, pollution, and climate change. Birds contribute to biodiversity in several ways; one way, in particular, is by cultivating public support for habitat conservation by being a socially desirable category of wildlife. To understand the social value of bird conservation on private forest lands in Pennsylvania, a statewide web survey was used containing psychometric scales and choice experiment questions (n = 690). The data collected was used to identify important attitudinal positions and estimate statewide demand for bird conservation programs on private lands under different policy options. Mean household WTP was estimated to be $11.83 annually, and statewide demand was estimated to exceed $47 million annually. Nonuse and cultural values underpinned much of the utility associated with the proposed habitat conservation programs. Findings suggest investment in both public education and bird conservation on private lands is a legitimate strategy for mitigating biodiversity loss and enhancing social welfare.