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Marine Wildlife Viewing Guidelines Now Online
Produced by the Watchable Wildlife Marine Viewing Working Group, this collection of guidelines is intended to help you enjoy watching marine wildlife without causing them harm or placing personal safety at risk. More...

Web Site Launched, Conference
Held to Promote Wildlife Tourism

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offers pointers to civic and business leaders wishing to develop nature tourism in their communities through its new web site.

The web site, which can be viewed at, offers:

  • Nature tourist demographic information
  • A process for creating a community nature tourism site or event, including assessing community features, planning and evaluating success
  • Resources for nature tourism businesses

Besides the website, WDFW and the state Office of Community, Trade and Economic Development are planning a September conference to promote wildlife-viewing tourism. Guest Speakers will include Jim Mallman President of Watchable Wildlife Inc.

According to a national survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife viewers, fishers and hunters spent more than $2.18 billion in Washington in 2001.

Virginia's Birding and Wildlife Trail
Within Virginias 43,000 square miles of diverse natural habitat, you can find some 400 species of birds, 250 species of fish, 150 species of terrestrial and marine animals, 150 species of amphibians and reptiles, and a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail celebrates this diversity. In fact, it is the first statewide program of its kind in the United States. In Virginia, three phases of the trail link wildlife viewing sites throughout the state. Check out for more details.

Vermont Leads the Pack of Wildlife Watchers
Robert WinklerNational Geographic News
National Geographic News
July 1, 2002

Nearly one-third of Americans age 16 and oldermore than 66 millionfed, photographed, and observed wildlife in 2001, and they spent $40 billion doing so, according to the latest figures of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Statistics released by the government in May and June reveal that, over the past five years, the ranks of wildlife watchers swelled by 5 percent and that spending on wildlife-watching equipment such as binoculars and birdhouses jumped by 33 percent.

Vermont had the highest participation rate of any state: 60 percent of residents age 16 and older engaged in some form of wildlife watching. Second-place Minnesota had a 54 percent participation rate, while Alaska and Wisconsin, at 53 percent, tied for third.

Virginia Birding Trail Gets $400,000 in Grants

RICHMOND, Virginia, July 21, 2000 (ENS) - The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) announced Thursday that it has received two major grants to support development of the coastal phase of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. The agency will use the new funds to determine routes for the Trail and create a map and signs for the coastal portion of the trail. A mountain stretch is next on the Trail's agenda. More than 2.2 million people spend almost $700 million a year on wildlife watching in Virginia, including birders looking for the state's 400 resident and migratory bird species. The trail is expected to encourage additional ecotourism visits to the region.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board has approved $300,000 for the Trail as a transportation enhancement project. DGIF will get $100,000 from the state Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program in October. "The collaborative funding received for the Trail is indicative of the tremendous support exhibited for this project," said DGIF director William Woodfin, Jr. "With this funding we look forward to creating the coastal portion of what will one day be a birding and wildlife watching trail that will allow residents and visitors alike to more fully enjoy Virginia's great natural resources." During the past nine months, DGIF has worked with communities, businesses and citizens in the coastal area to identify potential sites to be included on the Trail. The agency is reviewing more than 200 nominations for these sites.

For more information contact David Whitehurst who is leading this effort for Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

New Article - Worth the Download


Humans have always pursued other species, whether for food, fur, horn,
or just sport. But recent trends suggest that the human relationship with wildlife may be changing. by Howard Youth

Why do we pursue other species? Is it for the fur, meat, or sport ... or perhaps, now, for something else? We are seeing a shift in human relationships with wildlife, as millions turn from taking other species for furs, food, or sport to just watching. In a way, it's a new kind of hunt.

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