Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Bird diversity and psychological wellbeing: A comparison of green and coastal blue space in a neotropical city

Fisher, Jessica C., Bicknell, Jake E., Irvine, Katherine N., Hayes, William Michael, Fernandes, Damian, Mistry, Jayalaxshmi, Davies, Zoe G. (2021) Bird diversity and psychological wellbeing: A comparison of green and coastal blue space in a neotropical city. Science of the Total Environment, 793 . Article Number 148653. ISSN 0048-9697. E-ISSN 1879-1026. (doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822cb0d2) (KAR id:88775)


Accelerating rates of urbanisation are contributing to biodiversity declines worldwide. However, urban green (e.g. parks) and blue spaces (e.g. coast) provide important habitat for species. Emerging evidence also shows that green and blue spaces can benefit human psychological wellbeing, although few studies originate from the global South and it is unclear whether more biodiverse spaces offer greater wellbeing gains. We examine how bird diversity (abundance, species richness, Shannon diversity, and community composition) in green and coastal blue space in Georgetown, Guyana, is associated with people’s wellbeing (positive and negative affect, anxiety) in situ, using point counts and questionnaires. Bird community composition differed between green and coastal sites, and diversity was significantly higher in green sites. Positive affect and anxiety did not differ between green and coastal sites, but negative affect was higher in coastal sites. Mixed-effect models showed no associations between biodiversity and wellbeing, implying other features are contributing to people’s positive wellbeing. Despite no association between biodiversity and wellbeing, both green and coastal blue sites are important for wellbeing and supporting different bird communities. City planning authorities and public health professionals should ensure these social and environmental needs are met in developing cities in the Global South.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822cb0d2
Uncontrolled keywords: ecosystem service, Global South, human-wildlife interactions, mental health, urban planning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Funders: European Research Council (
Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Jessica Fisher
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 09:45 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2023 15:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.