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December 21, 2023

A new paper out in the Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism describes the self-determined constraints of the U.S. public to participating in birdwatching and recreational hunting.

Participation in wildlife-related recreation has been increasingly recognized as an important means to increase support for conservation activities and funding. Despite this, scientific information used to support participation is almost entirely derived from current or former participants and little is known about the constraints potential recruits may perceive.

Researchers thus identified a substantial need to explore the possible constraints and identify prevalent constraints among the U.S. public. To do this, they used a novel application of social science mixed method approaches to determine constraints on recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts for new birdwatchers and hunters in the U.S. They found that a complex mix of sociodemographic characteristics — such as age, gender, or social ties to the activity — influenced individuals' constraints to participating in wildlife-related recreation. This study filled a needed information gap in wildlife-related recreation participation and can inform organizations' efforts to recruit new participants. 



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