The proverb “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” has recently been quantified in a new and interesting manner:
According to the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research 14 birds in the bush is worth 124 euros in the hand, or a bird in the hand is worth 8.85€ in the bush (assuming additional birds represent different species).
“Europeans are particularly satisfied with their lives if their immediate surroundings host a high species diversity,” explains the study’s lead author, Joel Methorst, a doctoral researcher at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, the iDiv, and the Goethe University in Frankfurt. “According to our findings, the happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species.”
“Fourteen additional bird species in the vicinity raise the level of life satisfaction at least as much as an extra 124 Euros per month in the household account, based on an average income of 1,237 Euro per month in Europe.”
According to the study, a diverse nature therefore plays an important role for human well-being across Europe – even beyond its material services. At the same time, the researchers draw attention to impending health-related problems. “The Global Assessment 2019 by the World Biodiversity Council IPBES and studies of avian species in agricultural landscapes in Europe clearly show that the biological diversity is currently undergoing a dramatic decline. This poses the risk that human well-being will also suffer from an impoverished nature. Nature conservation therefore not only ensures our material basis of life, but it also constitutes an investment in the well-being of us all,” adds Methorst in conclusion.
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