Bird Diversity Unconsciously Increases People’s Satisfaction with Where They Live | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
Febrero 2021
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ISBN / Resource ID: 
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Copyright details: 
© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

There is growing evidence that exposure to nature increases human well-being, including in urban areas. However, relatively few studies have linked subjective satisfaction to objective features of the environment. In this study we explore the links among objective environmental features (tree cover, water, and bird diversity) and subjective judgements of satisfaction. We surveyed residents of Ottawa, Canada (n = 1035) about their satisfaction with their local neighbourhoods. We then compared the survey responses to measures of nature near their homes, including bird diversity (number of bird species), tree canopy cover, and distance to water. After controlling for effects of income and subjective happiness, residents’ neighbourhood satisfaction was positively related to the number of bird species nearby, even before participants were prompted to consider nature. Residents’ appreciation of their local neigbourhood relative to others also increased with tree canopy cover and nearness to water. Unsolicited comments from participants following the survey indicated that while residents consciously appreciate trees and water, the relationship between bird diversity and neighbourhood satisfaction appears to be unconscious; very few of the participants mentioned birds. Based on these results, we speculate that a diverse local bird community may provoke feelings of satisfaction through their presence, activity, and songs. Our results create a compelling argument for city planners and individual residents to maintain bird-friendly spaces in urban areas.

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Hepburn, Lauren
Smith, Adam C.
Zelenski, John
Fahrig, Lenore


Proveedor de datos

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