The Warden Attitude: An investigation of the value of interaction with everyday wildlife

Michael Brock, Grischa Perino (Lead Author), Robert Sugden

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Using a discrete choice experiment, we elicit valuations of engagement with ‘everyday wildlife’ through feeding garden birds. We find that bird-feeding is primarily but not exclusively motivated by the direct consumption value of interaction with wildlife. The implicit valuations given to different species suggest that people prefer birds that have aesthetic appeal and that evoke human feelings of protectiveness. These findings suggest that people derive wellbeing by adopting a warden-like role towards ‘their’ wildlife. We test for external validity by conducting a hedonic analysis of sales of bird food. We discuss some policy implications of the existence of warden attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-155
Number of pages29
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number1
Early online date20 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • use value
  • everyday wildlife
  • discrete choice experiment
  • nature connectivity
  • warden attitude
  • garden birds
  • hedonic

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