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


Hausmann, A and Toivonen, T and Fink, C and Heikinheimo, V and Tenkanen, H and Butchart, SHM and Brooks, TM and Di Minin, E, Assessing global popularity and threats to important bird and biodiversity areas using social media data, Science of the Total Environment, 683 pp. 617-623. ISSN 0048-9697 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.268


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:social media, biodiversity, big data, ecotourism, IBAs, threat
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Brooks, TM (Dr Thomas Brooks)
ID Code:137816
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2020-03-05
Last Modified:2020-04-30
Downloads:19 View Download Statistics

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