Willingness to Pay for Conservation of Transborder Migratory Species: A Case Study of the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat in the United States and Mexico

Michelle A. Haefele, John B. Loomis, Robert Merideth, Aaron Lien, Darius J. Semmens, James Dubovsky, Ruscena Wiederholt, Wayne E. Thogmartin, Ta Ken Huang, Gary McCracken, Rodrigo A. Medellin, James E. Diffendorfer, Laura López-Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We estimated U.S. and Mexican citizens’ willingness to pay (WTP) for protecting habitat for a transborder migratory species, the Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana), using the contingent valuation method. Few contingent valuation surveys have evaluated whether households in one country would pay to protect habitat in another country. This study addresses that gap. In our study, Mexican respondents were asked about their WTP for conservation of Mexican free-tailed bat habitat in Mexico and in the United States. Similarly, U.S. respondents were asked about their WTP for conservation in the United States and in Mexico. U.S. households would pay $30 annually to protect habitat in the United States and $24 annually to protect habitat in Mexico. Mexican households would pay $8 annually to protect habitat in Mexico and $5 annually to protect habitat in the United States. In both countries, these WTP amounts rose significantly for increasing the size of the bat population rather than simply stabilizing the current bat population. The ratio of Mexican household WTP relative to U.S. household WTP is nearly identical to that of Mexican household income relative to U.S. household income. This suggests that the perceived economic benefits received from the bats is similar in Mexico and the United States, and that scaling WTP by relative income in international benefit transfer may be plausible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - May 6 2018

Keywords

  • Bats
  • Contingent valuation
  • Habitat
  • Mexico
  • United States
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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    Haefele, M. A., Loomis, J. B., Merideth, R., Lien, A., Semmens, D. J., Dubovsky, J., Wiederholt, R., Thogmartin, W. E., Huang, T. K., McCracken, G., Medellin, R. A., Diffendorfer, J. E., & López-Hoffman, L. (Accepted/In press). Willingness to Pay for Conservation of Transborder Migratory Species: A Case Study of the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat in the United States and Mexico. Environmental Management, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-018-1046-1