University Of Tasmania
137816 - Assessing global popularity and threats to Important bird and biodiversity areas.pdf (1.65 MB)
Download file

Assessing global popularity and threats to important bird and biodiversity areas using social media data

Download (1.65 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 11:36 authored by Hausmann, A, Toivonen, T, Fink, C, Heikinheimo, V, Tenkanen, H, Butchart, SHM, Thomas BrooksThomas Brooks, Di Minin, E
Understanding worldwide patterns of human use of sites of international significance for biodiversity conservation is crucial for meeting global conservation targets. However, robust global datasets are scarce. In this study, we used social media data, mined from Flickr and Twitter, geolocated in Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)to assess i)patterns of popularity; ii)relationships of this popularity with geographical and biological variables; and iii)identify sites under high pressure from visitors. IBAs located in Europe and Asia, and in temperate biomes, had the highest density of users. Sites of importance for congregatory species, which were also more accessible, more densely populated and provided more tourism facilities, received higher visitation than did sites richer in bird species. We found 17% of all IBAs assessed to be under very high threat also received high visitation. Our results show in which IBAs enhanced monitoring should be implemented to reduce potential visitation risks to sites of conservation concern for birds, and to harness the potential benefits of tourism for conservation.


Publication title

Science of the Total Environment








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

Rights statement

© 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania