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An economic analysis of twitching behaviour and species rarity

Brock, M., Fraser, I., Law, C. ORCID:, Mitchell, S. and Roberts, D. L. (2020) An economic analysis of twitching behaviour and species rarity. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, 10 (1). pp. 54-73. ISSN 2160-6544

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/21606544.2020.1782269


Avid birdwatchers, or ‘twitchers’, expend a considerable amount of money and time pursuing viewing experiences of rare or vagrant species. By vagrant species, we mean a species found outside its normal range/distribution. To enhance our understanding of this form of behaviour, we present results from a U.K. survey of twitchers. First, we examine the relationship between cost and rarity based on actual viewing experiences. Our statistical results reveal that the relationship between cost and rarity is positive and very inelastic. Second, we present results from a hypothetical Best-Worst Scaling exercise examining aspects of species rarity. We find that rarity is a more nuanced construct than simply the frequency with which a vagrant species has appeared. Our results provide insights into the meaning of rarity, as well as the economic value attach to it and why.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH)
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:103450


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