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Reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion in the subarctic environment of Iceland

Reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion in the subarctic environment of Iceland


Titill: Reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion in the subarctic environment of Iceland
Höfundur: Jóhannesdóttir, Lilja
Alves, Jose   orcid.org/0000-0001-7182-0936
Gill, Jennifer A.
Gunnarsson, Tomas Gretar   orcid.org/0000-0001-7692-0637
Útgáfa: 2017
Tungumál: Enska
Umfang: 16
Háskóli/Stofnun: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
Deild: Rannsóknasetur Suðurlandi (HÍ)
Research Centre in South Iceland (UI)
Birtist í: Ecology and Society;22(1)
ISSN: 1708-3087
DOI: 10.5751/ES-08956-220116
Efnisorð: Farmers; Ground-nesting birds; Iceland; Land use management; Stakeholder perceptions; Waders; Conservation; Bændur; Hreiðurgerð; Vaðfuglar; Landnýting; Umhverfisvernd
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/308

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Tilvitnun:

Jóhannesdóttir, L., J. A. Alves, J. A. Gill, and T. G. Gunnarsson. 2017. Reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion in the subarctic environment of Iceland. Ecology and Society 22(1):16. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08956-220116

Útdráttur:

Intensified agricultural practices have driven biodiversity loss throughout the world, and although many actions aimed at halting and reversing these declines have been developed, their effectiveness depends greatly on the willingness of stakeholders to take part in conservation management. Knowledge of the willingness and capacity of landowners to engage with conservation can therefore be key to designing successful management strategies in agricultural land. In Iceland, agriculture is currently at a relatively low intensity but is very likely to expand in the near future. At the same time, Iceland supports internationally important breeding populations of many ground-nesting birds that could be seriously impacted by further expansion of agricultural activities. To understand the views of Icelandic farmers toward bird conservation, given the current potential for agricultural expansion, 62 farms across Iceland were visited and farmers were interviewed, using a structured questionnaire survey in which respondents indicated of a series of future actions. Most farmers intend to increase the area of cultivated land in the near future, and despite considering having rich birdlife on their land to be very important, most also report they are unlikely to specifically consider bird conservation in their management, even if financial compensation were available. However, as no agri-environment schemes are currently in place in Iceland, this concept is highly unfamiliar to Icelandic farmers. Nearly all respondents were unwilling, and thought it would be impossible, to delay harvest, but many were willing to consider sparing important patches of land and/or maintaining existing pools within fields (a key habitat feature for breeding waders). Farmers’ views on the importance of having rich birdlife on their land and their willingness to participate in bird conservation provide a potential platform for the codesign of conservation management with landowners before further substantial changes in the extent of agriculture take place in this subarctic landscape.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for non-commercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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