Use and nonuse values for conserving endangered species: the case of the Mediterranean monk seal
The contingent valuation method is often used for valuing environmental goods which have nonuse as well as direct-use values. However, it is often not clear how respondents to a contingent valuation survey allocate values when asked for willingness-to-pay amounts. In this paper, we investigate use and nonuse values for the Mediterranean monk seal ( Monachus monachus ), an endangered species, by using a survey conducted in Mytilene, on the island of Lesvos, Greece. Using factor analysis of the survey we found five factors which described respondents' attitudes towards conserving the monk seal, which were labelled protection, moral responsibility, ambivalence, limited resources, and tourist potential. Multilevel modelling was then used to compare willingness-to-pay responses with attitudinal and sociodemographic variables. The results suggest that willingness to pay for use, option, and existence values are predicted by different attitudinal variables.
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