a dumbo flock of shorebirds flies in front of a group of birdwatchers on a rainy day in Alaska
Birders flocked to the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival in Alaska. Photo by Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock Photo.

Birders flock to Alaska to get a glimpse of rare birds such as a Bluethroat. Often, they shell out money getting to remote locations that most tourists dont frequent, and spend increasingly money once they get there.

Tobias Schwoerer, an teammate professor at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, wanted see how how long birders stay compared to other visitors, how much they spend, and how those dollars trickle through the economy.

Schwoerer led a study published in July in the scientific periodical PloS One that tapped into data placid from the Alaska Visitors Statistics Program.

The study moreover incorporated data from the Cornell Lab of Ornithologys eBird database to see where and when people were reporting birds in Alaska. The study found that birders were platonic tourists. Compared to the stereotype tourist, they spent 56% increasingly money; engaged in twice as many activities, like guided tours; stayed four days longer; and traveled to increasingly remote areas. In all, birders spent $378 million in Alaska in 2016.

More detailed, fine-tuned studies can squint into whats driving the demand, Schwoerer said. Current marketing strategies are focused on the trip ship sectors. But the local communities can goody from the minutiae of small-scale nature-based niche markets like birdwatching.

This story was well-timed from a post on TWS Wildlife News, published by The Wildlife Society.