Dark side of birding: perceptions of bird watching's negative ecological impacts




Reznicek, Lisa Jeane

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Birders, in the pursuit wild birds, can negatively impact birds and critical bird habitat. Often, competition for space or resources can create conflict among recreational users and bird conservation initiatives. This study is a comparative analysis of how birding’s negative impacts are perceived by the people involved in recreation and conservation. Further examination of within-birder specialization evaluated impact perceptions against various intensity levels.

Interviews with birding stakeholders identified the need for the study and importance of conservation. To identify differences between stakeholders, separate on-site surveys, were conducted to assess stakeholder perceptions of birding’s negative impacts to the ecology of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Changes in recreational intensity were also analyzed for differences in negative impact perceptions from birding.


Faculty advisors: Drs. Wyndylyn von Zharen and Fred Pearl


bird watching, nature tourism