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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versão impressa ISSN 1519-6984versão On-line ISSN 1678-4375


CARVALHO, AR.. An ecological economics approach to estimate the value of a fragmented wetland in Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul state). Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2007, vol.67, n.4, pp.663-671. ISSN 1519-6984.

The Upper Paraná River floodplain is the last lotic stretch of an ecosystem seriously threatened given that circa 50% of the original ecosystem has been converted into reservoirs. To assess the recreational value of the Upper Paraná River floodplain, 174 tourists were interviewed using the Willingness to Pay - WTP and Travel Cost - TC methods. The annual aggregated WTP attributed by tourists was US$ 122.50 million and the variables which determine the decision in willingness to pay for the Floodplain are: 'consider oneself as a Floodplain natural resources consumer' and 'marital state'. If the single person considers her/himself as a consumer of floodplain natural resources, the WTP increases by a multiplicative factor of 38.8. The value aggregated by the TC method was US$ 234 millions and decreased by zone as the distance increases. Higher income and traveling farther increases the travel cost, which is inversely related to annual trip frequency. The total recreational value (356.5 millions per year) is high and representative since it refers to an environment fragmented by dams and with many anthropogenic effects. Therefore, the progressive changes on the landscape are a threat to local tourism, since half of the visitors are attracted solely by the scenic beauty, thereby overtaking those factors considered more important by public decision makers and managers, such as recreational fishery or boating.

Palavras-chave : recreational value; willingness to pay; travel cost method; tourism; upper Paraná river floodplain.

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