In 2006, there were 1.6 million wildlife viewers (residents and nonresidents) participating in non-residential activities in Florida. In addition, there were nearly 3.3 million residents participating in residential activities in Florida. Nonresidential activities are those performed at least one mile from an individual's home. Conversely, residential activities are those performed within one mile of an individual's home. The nonresidential activity cited most often by recreators was observing wildlife, whereas the primary residential activity was feeding wildlife. Overall, 4.2 million people participated in some form of residential or nonresidential wildlife viewing in Florida in 2006.
The total retail sales from 2006 wildlife viewing in Florida was estimated at $3.1 billion ($2.4 billion by residents and $653.3 million by nonresidents). Since 2001, expenditures in Florida for wildlife viewing have almost doubled ($1.575 billion in 2001). These numbers show a reversal from the previous five-year period in which expenditures had decreased slightly ($1.677 billion in 1996). These 2006 expenditures support a total economic effect to the Florida economy of $5.248 billion. The 2006 economic impact of wildlife viewing in Florida is summarized below.