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Why Birds Matter : Avian Ecological Function and Ecosystem Services (Paperback)
About this item
Birders and ornithologists alike have studied birds and argued for their conservation for well over a hundred years, documenting not only their beauty and diversity but also their importance to various ecosystems. These avian enthusiasts have noticed that birds eat fruit and carrion, spread seed and fertilizer, pollinate plants, and help control pests by devouring them for dinner. But rarely have they asked, as this volume does, what are birds worth? That is, how can we quantify avian ecosystem services—all those benefits which birds, through their behavior and characteristics, provide to humans? What economic value can we attach to these services, if any, and how should this value inform avian conservation? The first book to focus on ecosystem services from an ornithological perspective, Why Birds Matter includes an international group of scholars and researchers who work in the fields of environmental economics, ornithology, botany, ecology, and conservation biology. In covering such important ecological topics as scavenging, nutrient cycling, food chain dynamics, and plant-animal interactions, all within the context of human material well-being, the book ultimately argues that now, more than ever, calculating the value of avian ecosystem services is crucial when formulating and proposing bird conservation strategies. If we want to advance avian conservation, the contributors propose, we need to appeal not only to the public’s hearts and minds, but also to their wallets. To this end, the contributors provide examples of specific ecosystem valuations; they also elucidate the challenges of, and provide guidance for, calculating bird ecosystem services in general.
Number of Pages: 387
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Street Date: August 24, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-22-2287