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1996 Watchable Wildlife Recreation Statistics for Illinois

Wildlife is worth watching! Data collected from the 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted every five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau, indicates that watchable wildlife recreation is a popular activity in Illinois. Highlights of the survey follow.

    * In 1996, the primary residential watchable wildlife activity, in terms of participants, was feeding wildlife. The second most popular activity was observing wildlife.
    * In 1996, the primary nonresidential watchable wildlife activity, in terms of participants, was observing wildlife. 98,000 nonresident recreationists observed wildlife.
    * In 1996, there were 3 million residential watchable wildlife participants in Illinois. These are Illinois residents participating within one mile of their home.
    * In 1996, there were 1.2 million people participating in nonresidential watchable wildlife activities in Illinois.
    * The number one type of wildlife observed, fed or photographed by watchable wildlife recreationists in Illinois was birds. Mammals were in second place.
    * Illinois’ watchable wildlife participants spend more than $712 million each year pursuing non-consumptive wildlife related interests.
    * The total economic effect from 1996 watchable wildlife recreation in Illinois was estimated at $1.6 billion.
    * Only a small percentage of watchable wildlife recreationists in Illinois, both residential and nonresidential, report they are non-white.
    * Participants are in their early to mid-forties, are split almost evenly between male and female, and are likely to be married.
    * Participants have, on average, a household income of about $32,600.
    * During 1996, watchable wildlife supported 20,700 full and part-time jobs in Illinois. These jobs are directly associated with watchable wildlife use, in addition to jobs in industries that indirectly support these activities.

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