Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 199–223

Effects of a participatory bird census project on knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of coffee farmers in Colombia


DOI: 10.1007/s10668-012-9383-3

Cite this article as:
Lentijo, G.M. & Hostetler, M.E. Environ Dev Sustain (2013) 15: 199. doi:10.1007/s10668-012-9383-3


This study presents an evaluation of a participatory bird census (PBC) project that has been administered to coffee farmers in Colombia. Our objectives were (1) to evaluate the effect of the PBC project on conservation knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of coffee farmers and (2) to learn about the barriers farmers perceive toward adopting conservation practices. We conducted 261 interviews on four groups to control for the effects of involvement with an environmental coffee certification program (Rainforest Alliance—RA) and the PBC project. The four groups were (1) non-PBC participant, non-RA certified; (2) PBC participant, non-RA certified; (3) non-PBC participant, RA certified; and (4) PBC participant, RA certified. PBC participant/RA and PBC participant/non-RA were more knowledgeable about migratory and threatened birds. PBC participant/RA, PBC participant/non-RA, and non-PBC participant/RA groups believed they had the skills to perform bird conservation practices on their farms. A majority of respondents indicated that they were performing bird conservation practices and had positive attitudes toward birds. Farmers believed that lack of environmental awareness and lack of knowledge were the main barriers to perform bird conservation practices. Evaluating participatory programs with Colombian farmers can reveal environmental literacy improvements, but self-reported surveys may not be adequate to ascertain attitude changes and adoption of conservation practices. Direct observations on individual farms would be required to determine the impacts on such outreach efforts. Bird conservation seems popular with Colombian coffee farmers, and outreach programs that give detailed biodiversity management information could help aid bird conservation efforts on coffee farms.


Biodiversity conservation Bird conservation Environmental education Participatory process Sustainable agriculture 



Participatory bird census project


Non-PBC participant, non-Rainforest Alliance certified


PBC participant, non-Rainforest Alliance certified


Non-PBC participant, Rainforest Alliance certified


PBC participant, Rainforest Alliance certified

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wildlife Ecology and ConservationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.National Coffee Research CentreCenicaféManizalesColombia

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