An economic analysis of twitching behaviour and species rarity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Accepted_Manuscript

    Accepted author manuscript, 567 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 25/06/21



  • Mike Brock
  • Iain Fraser
  • Cherry Law
  • Simon Mitchell
  • David Roberts

Organisational units


Avid birdwatchers, or ‘twitchers’, expend a considerable amount of money and time pursuing viewing experiences of rare or vagrant species. By vagrant species, we mean a species found outside its normal range/distribution. To enhance our understanding of this form of behaviour, we present results from a U.K. survey of twitchers. First, we examine the relationship between cost and rarity based on actual viewing experiences. Our statistical results reveal that the relationship between cost and rarity is positive and very inelastic. Second, we present results from a hypothetical Best-Worst Scaling exercise examining aspects of species rarity. We find that rarity is a more nuanced construct than simply the frequency with which a vagrant species has appeared. Our results provide insights into the meaning of rarity, as well as the economic value attach to it and why.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics & Policy
Early online date25 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2020


    Research areas

  • Twitching, rarity, travel cost valuation, best-worst scaling

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ID: 182741192

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