Grassland conservation supports migratory birds and produces economic benefits for the commercial beekeeping industry in the U.S. Great Plains
Although declines in grassland birds have been documented, national initiatives to conserve grasslands and their biota have fallen short in part because the non-market values of natural ecosystems and species are often not recognized in political decision making. Identifying shared, anthropogenic threats faced by market-valued and non-market-valued species may generate additional support for grassland conservation. We quantify the relationship between the market value of grasslands to commercial beekeepers and the importance of grasslands for birds of conservation concern in North and South Dakota. Our models estimated beekeeping annual revenue increased by $7525 USD and grassland bird abundances increased 2 to 7% per 10-km2 increase in grassland area. We estimated grassland conversion from 2006 to 2012 resulted in a $2.0 to $2.8 M USD decrease in annual revenue for beekeepers in the Dakotas. Through this study we demonstrate both the market value of grasslands to commercial beekeepers and the non-market benefits of grasslands in supporting migratory birds and discuss the implications of future land-use change. As grassland conversion and subsequent biodiversity loss continue, understanding the co-benefits of grassland conservation may be necessary to illuminate their contributions to society.
|Grassland conservation supports migratory birds and produces economic benefits for the commercial beekeeping industry in the U.S. Great Plains
|Clint R.V. Otto, Haochi Zheng, Torre Hovick, Max Post van der Burg, Benjamin A. Geaumont
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center