Ecosystem service flows from a migratory species: Spatial subsidies of the northern pintail
Migratory species provide important benefits to society, but their cross-border conservation poses serious challenges. By quantifying the economic value of ecosystem services (ESs) provided across a species’ range and ecological data on a species’ habitat dependence, we estimate spatial subsidies—how different regions support ESs provided by a species across its range. We illustrate this method for migratory northern pintail ducks in North America. Pintails support over $101 million USD annually in recreational hunting and viewing and subsistence hunting in the U.S. and Canada. Pintail breeding regions provide nearly $30 million in subsidies to wintering regions, with the “Prairie Pothole” region supplying over $24 million in annual benefits to other regions. This information can be used to inform conservation funding allocation among migratory regions and nations on which the pintail depends. We thus illustrate a transferrable method to quantify migratory species-derived ESs and provide information to aid in their transboundary conservation.
KeywordsMigration Northern pintail duck Spatial subsidies Species conservation Telecoupling Transborder conservation
This work was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey’s John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis working group Animal migration and Spatial Subsidies: Establishing a Framework for Conservation Markets, National Science Foundation awards (DEB-1118975 and DEB-1518359), and USGS’ Land Change Science Program. We thank Jeremy Havens for assistance with the figures, and Autumn-Lynn Harrison for a constructive review of an earlier draft manuscript. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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