Georgia Results of the Wildlife Viewer Survey: Enhancing relevancy and engaging support from a broader constituency
Wildlife viewing is among the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities in the United States, with significant implications for the work of wildlife agencies. While important insights have emerged piece-meal from a number of surveys, agencies lack generalizable information about wildlife viewers (those who intentionally observe, feed, or photograph wildlife; travel to parks, protected areas, or other natural spaces with the purpose of feeding, observing, or photographing wildlife, and those who maintain plantings or natural areas for the benefit of wildlife) behaviors, experiences, perceptions, needs, and preferences. This information is essential for more meaningful and substantive engagement for state agencies with this often underserved constituency. Through a 2021 AFWA MultiState Conservation Grant, Virginia Tech and the AFWA Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Working Group conducted national and state level surveys to gather more data on wildlife viewers. This work was funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Multistate Conservation Grant Program (grant # F21AP00617-00) and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.