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title Reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion in the subarctic environment of Iceland
authors Johannesdttir, L; Alves, JA; Gill, JA; Gunnarsson, TG
author full name Johannesdttir, Lilja; Alves, Jose A.; Gill, Jennifer A.; Gunnarsson, Tomas G.
title Reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion in the subarctic environment of Iceland
nationality internacional
language English
document type Article
author keywords farmers; ground-nesting birds; Iceland; land use management; stakeholder perceptions; waders
abstract 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.
author address [Johannesdttir, Lilja; Alves, Jose A.; Gunnarsson, Tomas G.] Univ Iceland, South Iceland Res Ctr, Reykjavik, Iceland; [Alves, Jose A.] Univ Aveiro, CESAM Ctr Environm & Marine Studies, DBIO, Aveiro, Portugal; [Gill, Jennifer A.] Univ East Anglia, Sch Biol Sci, Norwich, Norfolk, England
reprint address Johannesdttir, L (reprint author), Univ Iceland, South Iceland Res Ctr, Reykjavik, Iceland.
funding agency and grant number Icelandic Research Fund [130412-051]
funding text We would like to thank the numerous farmers who were willing to participate in this research; without them this would not have been possible. For financial support we thank the Icelandic Research Fund (grant number 130412-051).
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cited reference count 64
publisher city WOLFVILLE
issn 1708-3087
29-character source abbreviation ECOL SOC
iso source abbreviation Ecol. Soc.
year published 2017
volume 22
issue 1
article number 16
digital object identifier (doi) 10.5751/ES-08956-220116
page count 10
web of science category Ecology; Environmental Studies
subject category Environmental Sciences & Ecology
document delivery number ES2ZW
unique article identifier WOS:000399397700019
link https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08956-220116
CESAM authors