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Replacement cost valuation of Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) subsistence harvest in Arctic and sub-Arctic North America

July 1, 2014

Migratory species provide economically beneficial ecosystem services to people throughout their range, yet often, information is lacking about the magnitude and spatial distribution of these benefits at regional scales. We conducted a case study for Northern Pintails (hereafter pintail) in which we quantified regional and sub-regional economic values of subsistence harvest to indigenous communities in Arctic and sub-Arctic North America. As a first step, we used the replacement cost method to quantify the cost of replacing pintail subsistence harvest with the most similar commercially available protein (chicken). For an estimated annual subsistence harvest of ˜15,000 pintail, our mean estimate of the total replacement cost was ˜$63,000 yr−1 ($2010 USD), with sub-regional values ranging from \$263 yr−1 to \$21,930 yr−1. Our results provide an order-of-magnitude, conservative estimate of one component of the regional ecosystem-service values of pintails, providing perspective on how spatially explicit values can inform migratory species conservation.