Echeverri et al., Iconic manakins and despicable grackles

Echeverri, A., R. Naidoo, D.S. Karp, K.M.A. Chan and J. Zhao (2019). “Iconic manakins and despicable grackles: Comparing cultural ecosystem services and disservices across stakeholders in Costa Rica.” Ecological Indicators 106: 105454. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105454

Despite the great cultural and economic benefits associated with birdwatching and other bird-related cultural ecosystem services (CES), little is known about the bird-related CES and disservices perceived by people, and how they differ across stakeholders and species. The goal of this study was to explore CES and disservices across three stakeholder groups in Northwestern Costa Rica. We conducted surveys (n = 404 total) in which we presented farmers (n = 140), urbanites (n = 149), and birdwatchers (n = 115) with illustrations and songs of bird species and collected participants’ ratings on items designed to measure multiple CES and disservices. We found bird-related CES and disservices were perceived as six different categories: identity, bequest, education, birdwatching, acoustic aesthetic, and disservices. The three stakeholder groups expressed varying preferences across services, disservices, and species. Specifically, birdwatchers ranked species higher in terms of their education scores and lower in disservices scores compared to the other two groups, whereas farmers scored species higher on identity scores compared to the other two groups. Farmers and urbanites had remarkably similar perceptions towards birds in general, but differed from birdwatchers. Our approach represents a novel method for assessing CES and disservices associated with species that can be adapted and modified for different taxa and multiple geographical contexts.