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Bird watching, hunting boost nature conservation

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New York, March 10:

Go bird watching and hunting if you want to support conservation activities, say researchers from the Cornell University.

Chilika BirdsAll other factors being equal, bird watchers are about five times as likely, and hunters about four times as likely, as non-recreationists to engage in wildlife and habitat conservation.

Both bird watchers and hunters are more likely than non-recreationists to enhance land for wildlife, donate to conservation organisations and advocate for wildlife-all actions that significantly impact conservation success, they found.

“We set out to study two groups – bird watchers and hunters – and did not anticipate the importance of those who do both, and wildlife managers probably didn’t either,” said lead author Caren Cooper from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in the US.

“We do not even have a proper name for these conservation superstars, other than hunter/bird watchers,” she added.

This survey of conservation activity among rural landowners considered a range of possible predictors such as gender, age, education, political ideology and beliefs about the environment.

As agencies and conservation organisations ponder how to better work with bird watchers, hunters, and hunter/bird watchers on conservation, one message is clear: “The more time we spend in nature, the more likely we are to protect it.”

The study was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. IANS