Is Neotropical Conservation Sold-Short: Diminishing Returns for Birding Suggest Ecolodges Could Encourage Longer Stays

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Journal of Nature Conservation




Bird tours are a multi-million dollar business in North America and Europe and birding destinations across the world. A typical professionally-led bird trip (operated by a European or North American bird tour company) to Ecuador today costs between $289–$363/day and lasts between 10–15 days and visits several destinations. The typical neotropical rainforest tour package offered by ecolodges aimed at bird tour groups is a three-day, three-night package. Assuming birders and bird tour groups seek to maximise the number of new bird species observed each day a Monte Carlo simulation of diminishing returns using birder's lists available atwww.Birding.com suggests diminishing returns occur only on the fifth day. We conclude that ecolodges throughout Ecuador are underselling themselves and should promote longer stays for birders and bird tour groups at their lodges.