Wildlife Economics

Science Center Objects

From the benefits of tourism and hunting, to the protection of rare and endangered species, economics can play an important role in understanding humans’ relationship with wildlife.

SEA economists work Department of the Interior bureaus to address the economic benefits of wildlife to individuals themselves and to local and national business activities, including:

  • Assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) during their Comprehensive Conservation Plans for wildlife refuge management plans. These analyses include summarizing the local economic settings, employment, and wildlife refuge use, as well as estimating the economic contributions of refuge activities across CCP alternatives.

  • Visitor use survey for the USFWS at more than 70 national wildlife refuges to better understand who visits wildlife refuges, measure the quality of the overall visitor experience, and to reveal the economic benefits of a day visiting the refuge. These data are being used to estimate the benefits of bird viewing at one of the premier migratory bird refuges in the U.S. at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

  • SEA economists have partnered with the National Park Service to estimate the value of on-site and virtual (via live-streaming online web-cameras) brown bear viewing at the remote Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

  • SEA economists manage the Benefit Transfer Toolkit, which is designed to help other analysts perform benefit transfers on the economic value of wildlife. The Toolkit includes summarized economic benefit data and forecasting tools for hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing, as well as a summary database for the protection of threatened, endangered, and rare species.

Return to Economics and Ecosystems Services or the Social and Economic Analysis branch