This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Hunting Leases: A Review of Valuation Methods and Meta-Analysis




Aber, Hatice Burcu

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science


This thesis reviewed valuation methodologies for ecosystem services and land in general, and hunting activities and their economic implication in the United States in particular. After reviewing hunting activities from ecosystem services of wildlife and wildlife habitats, this thesis focused on an empirical study of hunting lease rates on private lands to assess various high-quality land sites and their different hunting lease rates. Meta-analysis was used and twenty-two observations from 13 publications were collected through systematic reviews. Hunting lease rate on private lands at the Mississippi Delta was used as the control group and other 21 private lands’ hunting lease rates ($ per acre) were used as the treatment group in the meta-analysis. All hunting lease rates were converted to the 2013 price. A random-effects model was used to calculate the effect sizes of the observations with Hedge’s score with a 95% confidence interval. The DerSimonian-Laird model was used to calculate the tau score (τ) using the Stata statistic program. Statistically significant result was found and null hypothesis was rejected (p = 0.00 < α = 0.05). The result implies that the hunting lease rate of the Mississippi Delta land is $2.22 greater than the other observed lands’ hunting lease prices on average. Hunting lease rate and variation for the private lands were found, suggesting better quality through habitat management would be beneficial not only to wildlife but also to landowners and hunters. Scientific management would increase social welfare, including landowners, hunters, and wildlife. This study will be beneficial for researchers who are interested to conduct a meta-analysis with a clear explanation of meta-analysis steps and interested in valuation methodologies for land and ecosystem services. It is also hoped to be useful to formulate policy implication by policymakers, and private landowners. Keywords: Ecosystem Services, Private Forests, Land Value, Valuation, Green Economy, Hunting Lease, Valuation methodologies Meta-analysis, United States