How woodpeckers can save the Białowieża Forest?
Czeszczewik, D., Walankiewicz, W. and Ginter, A. (2018). How woodpeckers can save the Białowieża Forest?. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107192
© the Authors, 2018
Economic benefits of woodpecker watching at the Białowieża Forest Białowieża Forest (BF) is very famous for bison, beautiful old-growth stands and rich avifauna (e.g., woodpecker, owls, birds of prey, flycatchers). That's why this place attracts a lot of tourists who are interested in nature. Among people visiting the BF birdwatchers are the most important group consisting about 1/3 of tourists. The goal was to estimate the value of the White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos (WBW) and the Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus (TTW) at BF, i.e., calculating how much money the visiting tourists leave to see these birds. The results were compared to the benefits derived from wood production. We conducted surveys among birdwatchers visiting BF in 2016. We asked them about bird species they wanted to see the most and about their costs of staying in Białowieża. Data on timber production we obtained from State Forest. Birdwatchers the most frequently indicated WBW and TTW. People who wanted to see at least one of these two species spent in Białowieża a total of 5.5 million euro, which is 34% of the total amount spent annually by all tourists. The woodpeckers are considered as indicator species associated with other natural features of the forest. As many as nine woodpecker species breed in BF, but their densities are rather low and the number of some rare species decrease. The most sensitive to habitat changes due to forest management (logging, removal of dead trees) are WBW and TTW. In 2017, as much as 170,000 m3 of wood was removed from the BF. In many cases, logging was conducted along forest roads and tourist trails (dozens of kilometers). This worsened: 1) of woodpecker habitats, and 2) possibility to explore the forest by birdwatchers. It is worth to stress that, revenues from birdwatchers interested in WBW and TTW were higher than revenues from logging. Moreover, revenues from that kind of tourism goes to hundreds of local people (guides, shops, restaurants and rooms owners etc.), while revenues from timber production goes to big state company employing relatively small group of people. Significant money from birdwatchers could convince lawmakers that constant protection of all old stands in the entire BF can be more beneficial for both, the local community and nature. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018 
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