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Assessing global popularity and threats to important bird and biodiversity areas using social media data

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Hausmann, A, Toivonen, T, Fink, C, Heikinheimo, V, Tenkanen, H, Butchart, SHM, Brooks, TM and Di Minin, E 2019 , 'Assessing global popularity and threats to important bird and biodiversity areas using social media data' , Science of the Total Environment, vol. 683 , pp. 617-623 , doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.268.

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Abstract

Understanding worldwide patterns of human use of sites of international significance for biodiversity conservation is crucial for meeting global conservation targets. However, robust global datasets are scarce. In this study, we used social media data, mined from Flickr and Twitter, geolocated in Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)to assess i)patterns of popularity; ii)relationships of this popularity with geographical and biological variables; and iii)identify sites under high pressure from visitors. IBAs located in Europe and Asia, and in temperate biomes, had the highest density of users. Sites of importance for congregatory species, which were also more accessible, more densely populated and provided more tourism facilities, received higher visitation than did sites richer in bird species. We found 17% of all IBAs assessed to be under very high threat also received high visitation. Our results show in which IBAs enhanced monitoring should be implemented to reduce potential visitation risks to sites of conservation concern for birds, and to harness the potential benefits of tourism for conservation.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hausmann, A and Toivonen, T and Fink, C and Heikinheimo, V and Tenkanen, H and Butchart, SHM and Brooks, TM and Di Minin, E
Keywords: social media, biodiversity, big data, ecotourism, IBAs, threat
Journal or Publication Title: Science of the Total Environment
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.268
Copyright Information:

© 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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