Estimating the economic value of viewing griffon vultures Gyps fulvus: A Travel Cost Model study at Gamla Nature Reserve, Israel

Nir Becker, Moshe Inbar, Ofer Bahat, Yael Choresh, Gil Ben-Noon, Omer Yaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

The proper valuation of non-market environmental commodities such as wildlife viewing has significant policy implications. We implemented the Travel Cost Method (TCM) to estimate the value of viewing threatened Eurasian griffon vulture Gyps fulvus by the public at Gamla Nature Reserve, northern Israel. We used the zonal TCM, where concentric zones were defined around the site such that the cost of travel from all points in a given zone was approximately constant. We generated a visit-distance function and used it, based on 143 questionnaires, to derive the demand function for the site from which a monetary value could be estimated. The potential annual benefit of Gamla was estimated to be NIS 5.5-6.0 million (USD 1.1-1.2 million). The annual economic value of Gamla to the visiting public is approximately five times higher than the current revenue, and 85% of the visitors to Gamla came to view vultures. This information can be used to estimate the benefits of further investment in Gamla Nature Reserve, to price this site according to demand if there are budget limits, and in particular to invest in the protection of vultures and other threatened species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-434
Number of pages6
JournalOryx
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gamla Nature Reserve
  • Griffon vulture
  • Gyps fulvus
  • Non-market goods
  • Travel Cost Method
  • Wildlife viewing

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