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National valuation of monarch butterflies indicates an untapped potential for incentive-based conservation

Conservation Letters

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1111/conl.12065

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Abstract

The annual migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) has high cultural value and recent surveys indicate monarch populations are declining. Protecting migratory species is complex because they cross international borders and depend on multiple regions. Understanding how much, and where, humans place value on migratory species can facilitate market-based conservation approaches. We performed a contingent valuation study of monarchs to understand the potential for such approaches to fund monarch conservation. The survey asked U.S. respondents about the money they would spend, or have spent, growing monarch-friendly plants, and the amount they would donate to monarch conservation organizations. Combining planting payments and donations, the survey indicated U.S. households valued monarchs as a total one-time payment of $4.78–$6.64 billion, levels similar to many endangered vertebrate species. The financial contribution of even a small percentage of households through purchases or donations could generate new funding for monarch conservation through market-based approaches.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
National valuation of monarch butterflies indicates an untapped potential for incentive-based conservation
Series title:
Conservation Letters
DOI:
10.1111/conl.12065
Volume
7
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Contributing office(s):
Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description:
10 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Conservation Letters
First page:
253
Last page:
262
Country:
Mexico;United States