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Experiences for Conservation

Andrew Rothman Founder Rainforest Biodiversity Group

Birding a.k.a Birdwatching What is a Birder? Someone who observes birds (sight/ sound) for recreation

Birder Data •

How many people bird? (US Forest Service) • 66.1 million Americans age 16 and up bird • 33 % of all Americans 16 and up participate in birding • Birder population up from 12% in 1993 to 33% in 2001 • More people bird then hunt or fish

y Who is a birder? Fermata Data (Eubanks) y y y y y y

51% = female Median age = 54 94% = Anglo Mean years of education = 16 Mean household income = $71,121 Percent Retired = 37%

Considerations for Eco-tourism y Large market y Increasing popularity

y Market willing to travel y Birders average 10 trips a year y 55 days of birding a year avg

y Economic Impact (Eubanks, Kerlinger, Isaacs)

y $50 a day / birder y $506 a trip/ birder y $1,500 - $3,400 year / birder y In 1981 birders spent over $20 billion

Relation to Communities Clearly birding trips have economic impacts on regions and communities.

Study by Eubanks,et al: -

The direct expenditures of birders averaged $506 per trip Of which $432 being spent in the state where the birding activity occurred.

Other Considerations: -

During their trips 35% said birding was most important activity However 37% was one of many activities Opportunity to incorporate birding into other activities Use birding to attract visitors to not only see birds but do other things in community

Distribution of trip expenditures ($505.84) Augusto Silva

Experiences in Developing a Birding Trail in Costa Rica

Endangered Flagship Species The Great Green Macaw

90 % Loss of Habitat Current Range

Former Range

San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor

• Government lacks funds for further protection • International funds drying up • Conservation falling on to shoulders of private landowners • Lack Money, Security, Support • Leaves habitat vulnerable to degradation

Our Hypothesis The development of a nature tourism trail within the CBSS has the potential to adequately supplement the income of local landowners to reduce loss of wildlife habitat

Why a Birding Trail? y Tourism is largest contributor to GNP in CR = (available market) y Great Birding = (good product) y Good Transportation =(easy access to product) y Trails in US becoming more common = (familiarity with product) y Meet the needs of conservation y

Additional habitat protection, connectivity

y Meet the needs of landowners y

Money, Security, Support

Route Development Scheme 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Flagship species (conservation focus) Partnerships Financial Plan: Is it a worthwhile Investment? Sustainable Standards Site Selection Criteria Selection of Sites Contracts Site Development (Action Plans) Map and Guide / Signage Marketing Training Site Monitoring Site Evaluation Site Maintenance

Initial Results y y y y

13 sites selected 6 new reserves created 1297 newly protected hectares (3178 acres) 5001 total hectares (12,253 acres) under protection within CRBR y 2000 Map and Guides Produced y Bird Monitoring y Initial Tours y Landowner Workshops Augusto Silva

Income Generation for Landowners and Communities y y y y y y y y

Entrance Fees Food Lodging Guides Packaged Tours Reservations Guide Map Bird Route Experience Reminders (a.k.a souvenirs)

Marketable Points y y y y y y y y y

Great Birding 1st Birding Trail in Costa Rica Direct Connection to Conservation Green / Sustainable Tourism Development Cultural Experiences Local Food “Off the beaten path” Rainforest Experience “Money” Birds: y

Great Green Macaw y Toucans y Colorful tropical birds y Neotropical Migrants

Marketing of the CRBR Focal Markets y y

Independent Birders Nature Enthusiasts/ Eco-travelers y High-end Birders y Backpackers

Marketing Strategy y y y

Web Direct Mailings Media y Magazines y Newspaper Coverage y Compound Marketing y Sites y Operators y Wholesalers y International and In-Country

Sustainability in the CRBR Sustainable Tourism Code of Ethics (ABA) • Sustainable Standards •

• • •

Ensure sustainability Visitor Incentive Implementable

Training Programs • • • •

Sustainable Tourism Guide Training Business Capacity Environmental Education

How can Birding work for you and your community? Assess your birding resources:

Assess Community Resources:

•What attributes do you have to draw in birders?

•What are the desired community benefits?

•What is your birding related infrastructure and services?

•Who are allies and partners?

•What are the conservation benefits? •How can you develop a Service Birding Program? •Identify how the community can help birders. Ex. Gas station attendants know what the project is and how to get to the birding location.

•What community attractions can you package birding with? Ex. Native American History Festival

•How birders can help the community? Ex. Coordinate fundraisers with birding events

Augusto Silva

Service Birding Definition: Birding Tours that give back to the communities. This may be in the form of a donation or a service such as assistance with construction of a school, providing schools with books, reforesting trees, conducting workshops or any other service that helps the local community in which the visitor has come to birdwatch.

Partners and Sponsors

Contact Info RAINFOREST BIODIVERSITY GROUP, INC 7 N. Pinckney St Suite 220 Madison, WI 53711 PHONE: 608-698-3448 Fax: 608-245-9787



Birds, Communities, and Eco-Tourism  
Birds, Communities, and Eco-Tourism  

ESTC 2008: Birds, Communities, and Eco-Tourism - Mr. Andrew Rothman, Rainforest Biodiversity Group, Inc.