Institutional Affiliation: Cornell University
|Conservation Co-Benefits from Air Pollution Regulation: Evidence from Birds|
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Massive wildlife losses over the past 50 years have brought new urgency to identifying both the drivers of population decline and potential solutions. We provide the first large-scale evidence that air pollution, specifically ozone, is associated with declines in bird abundance in the United States. We show that an air pollution regulation limiting ozone precursors emissions has delivered substantial benefits to bird conservation. Our estimates imply that air quality improvements over the past four decades have stemmed the decline in bird populations, averting the loss of 1.5 billion birds, approximately 20 percent of current totals. Our results highlight that in addition to protecting human health, air pollution regulations have previously unrecognized and unquantified conservation co-ben...