Does hunters' willingness to pay match the best hunting options for biodiversity conservation? A choice experiment application for small-game hunting in Spain

Miguel Delibes-Mateos, Marek Giergiczny, Jesús Caro, Javier Viñuela, Pere Riera, Beatriz Arroyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In southern Europe, traditional hunting has been frequently replaced by models based on more intensive management. These systems include management strategies like the release of farm-reared animals that can cause harmful effects on biodiversity. However, little is known about the hunters' views of this activity, and about their preferences for the ecological attributes of the hunting estates. We present the results of a choice experiment exercise evaluating the willingness to pay of Spanish hunters regarding different aspects of walked-up red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) shooting, including partridge quality (farm-reared vs. wild) and other attributes related to the ecological characteristics of the estate. We find that, when given the choice, hunting an additional wild partridge in a walked-up shooting day was valued more than 20. times higher than hunting an additional farm-reared bird. The diversity of small game available and the presence of natural vegetation in the landscape in which the walked-up hunting takes place were also significantly valued. Hunters also attributed economic value (albeit lower than other attributes) to the presence of protected non-game fauna in the estate. Overall, our results show that hunters are willing to pay more for hunting on estates that have better ecological characteristics, which may be indicative of good conservation status. This suggests that identifying and promoting such estates could lead to systems that are both ecologically and economically sustainable. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-42
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume177
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Alectoris rufa
  • Game quality label
  • Hunters' preferences
  • Questionnaire
  • Sustainable hunting
  • Willingness to pay

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