The "Crex crex" Lament: Estimating Landowners Willingness to Pay for Corncrake Conservation on Irish Farmland
This paper considers farmers willingness to pay (WTP) to conserve an endangered Irish farmland bird, the Corncrake (Crex crex). An Irish National Farm Survey (NFS) is used to produce individual farm-level WTP estimates for the year 2006. These figures are then aggregated to obtain a total value figure for the farming community of Corncrake conservation in Ireland. We focus on the willingness to pay of farmers rather than the WTP of the general Irish population, as farmers will ultimately be the ones that will have to take responsibility if targets set out in the All Ireland Action Plan for Corncrake conservation are to be achieved. Quantifying willingness to pay on the part of farmers can help inform the design of agri-environment schemes aimed at improving conservation of many bird species on farmland. Results indicate that the non-market benefit of corncrake conservation in Ireland may significantly outweigh the costs of existing conservation schemes.
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