The economic value of a White Stork nesting colony: a case of ‘stork village’ in Poland
In this paper we estimate the economic value of selected ecosystem services provided by White Storks in a Polish ‘stork village’. A stork village is a common name for a village with a White Stork breeding colony, often inhabited by more storks than people. Zywkowo, the best known stork village in Poland, receives 2000–5000 tourists annually, many of whom come from abroad. The village has about 20–40 White Stork nests and several amenities aiming at improving its recreational attractiveness. To estimate the economic benefits provided by the stork village we apply the travel cost method. This is the first study of this kind for a stork village, and the first study related to the value of birds in Poland. Our results provide a useful input into policy and decision making, indicating that nature has economic value. It also serves as a clear illustration that degradation of nature may entail economic losses.
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