2006 U.S. Fish and Game Stats

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued their report on wildlife watching back in May of this year. Here are our opinions on the numbers.

71 million wildlife watchers?

According to the survey, more than 71 million Americans age 16 or older fed, photographed, and observed wildlife in 2006. This means that 3 out of every 10 people in the U.S. have actively went out to interact with wildlife. We find this number actually quite sad. This means that 7 out of 10 people DON’T give a hoot about wildlife in any way, shape or form.

18.8 million enjoyed photographing wildlife

This is great news for conservationists because photographers have a vested interest in protecting their photographic subjects. Photography is one of the best ways to get someone interested in birds. There is nothing quite as challenging as photographing wild birds.

The survey is, like most surveys, a gross simplification of data. The criteria of who is a wildlife watcher is loose and many of these millions most birders wouldn’t consider to be birders. However, what the numbers tell is that the more people that get out there and enjoy our natural wonders, the more people will help make sure that we increase the amount of protected land.

2 thoughts on “2006 U.S. Fish and Game Stats

  1. Those sound like low numbers, don’t they? But the report says it is preliminary. And eventually they will report by States. I find it amusing that these numbers come from the surveys and interviews conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. I wonder if these interviews were done by phone; or possibly done by mail? I’m even wondering if wildlife merchants – those who sell food and/or equipment for wildlife recreation turned in any reports – or were even contacted. My personal opinion is that these folks are making decent profits. What about groups like the local Audubon societies or even the national Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, etc? Were they ever contacted to get some numbers of members?

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