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Conservation Priorities for Recreational Birding


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Warnell, K., 2019, Conservation Priorities for Recreational Birding: U.S. Geological Survey ScienceBase,


Recreational birding is a popular activity in the United States, with about 20% of the population participating each year (Carver 2013). To assess the spatial distribution of recreational birding in the southeast, we combined two data sources: eBird (Sullivan et al. 2009) and the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-associated Recreation (NSFHWAR; US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Department of Commerce 2011). We used spatial birding data from eBird to distribute the state-level NSFHWAR birding data by county, watershed, and land protection status. This analysis represents birding activity as of 2011 (the latest year for which all datasets were available). This information was used to identify [...]

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Point of Contact :
Katherine Warnell
Originator :
Katherine Warnell

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The priority conservation counties and watersheds can be used to identify where, at the regional level, conservation of high-quality birding areas will provide the greatest benefit in terms of supporting recreational birding activity. These can also be overlaid with other data sources at the appropriate scale, including other ecosystem service maps, to find areas where conservation would provide multiple benefits. The additional fields in the county- and watershed-level datasets have the necessary information ot make slight changes to the identification of priority conservation areas. For example, if you are only interested in a geographical subset of the study area, you may wish to adjust the criteria used to identify priority areas if more appropriate thresholds are known. You can use the additional fields to extract priorities within your area of interest according to your defined criteria. When using these data, please keep in mind that they are designed for landscape-level assessments; this information should not be used to assess the magnitude of recreational birding activity at individual sites. Since it is dependent on individual reports and does not capture all birding activity, this information is best used at the landscape scale to consider patterns of birding activity on land of various cover types and protection status.


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • Southeast CASC



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DOI doi:10.21429/qh4e-mj75

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