The study found that insectivorous birds, such as yellow warblers, halved infestations by the beetle Hypothenemus hampei, saving a medium-sized coffee farm up to US$9,400 over a year's harvest — roughly equal to Costa Rica's average per-capita income.
And the more forest grew on and near a coffee farm, the more birds the farm had, and the lower its infestation rates were, found the study published in Ecology Letters (27 August).
“We know that native wildlife can provide you with a pretty significant benefit.”
"Based on this study, we know that native wildlife can provide you with a pretty significant benefit," Daniel Karp, a conservation biologist at Stanford University in California, who led the study, told Nature News. "Incorporating their conservation into your management of pests is absolutely something you should do."
Previous research, published in Conservation Biology, showed that birds in Jamaica have a similar effect.
Link to full article in Nature News
Link to abstract in Ecology Letters
Link to full article in Conservation Biology
ReferencesEcology Letters doi: 10.1111/ele.12173 (2013)
Conservation Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00968.x (2008)