Observing wildlife is a popular way to enjoy the outdoors. The 2001 USFWS Survey found that "Observing, feeding, and photographing wildlife in the United States is an important pastime for millions of Americans and contributes significantly to the national and state economies. In 2001, more than 66 million people 16 years of age and older spent over $38.4 billion on trips and equipment in pursuit of these activities. Wildlife-watching expenditures have contributed substantially to Federal and state tax revenues, jobs, earnings, and industry output." These publications give information on the economic benefits of wildlife watching and provide tips on making viewing wildlife successful.
Many Bird Watching business publications and resources are complementary to the wildlife watching resources.
Wildlife Watching in the U.S.: Economic Impacts on National and State Economies in 2006 (PDF)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Wildlife watching is one of the most popular types of outdoor recreation in the United States. Nearly a third of the U.S. population, 71 million people, enjoyed closely observing, feeding, and photographing wildlife in 2006. Wildlife watching around the home and on trips is an important and growing form of recreation. Eight percent more people participated in 2006 than in 2001. This report presents estimates of the national and state economic impacts of wildlife watching, which were derived using data from the 2006 Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation Survey (FHWAR). The following topics are addressed: (1) national participation in wildlife watching; (2) expenditures associated with participation in wildlife watching; (3) estimates of the total economic activity generated by these expenditures; (4) total employment and employment income associated with these expenditures; and (5) estimates of associated state and federal tax revenue.
Wildlife Watching and Tourism: A Study on the Benefits and Risks of a Fast Growing Tourism Activity and Its Impact on Species (PDF)
United Nations Environment Program
This extensive publication discusses wildlife watching around the world, the conservation benefits of getting tourists interested in wildlife watching, its impact and potential risks on wildlife, and recommendations for the future.