Percentage of birders in Australia

To: "'Cas and Lisa Liber'" <>
Subject: Percentage of birders in Australia
From: "Sean Dooley" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 10:54:58 +1100

You could work it out on membership figures of birding organisations. While
many people who look at birds may not be members, joining an organisation
shows a certain level of commitment (or at least of self-identification) as
a bird watcher. 

>From enquiries I made a couple of years ago of the two biggest national
birding bodies I think there are a bit over 4,000 members of BOCA and around
7,000 Birds Australia members. Given that there would be an overlap of
membership of both, and that members of regional and state groups may not
belong to either, I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to consider that there
are around 10,000 people in this country that would call themselves birders
to some degree. 

Out of a population of 20 million, I make that to be a whopping 0.05% of the
Australian population. 

To compare that with the UK, the peak birding body the RSPB has around 1.1
million members. In a country of 60 million, that is about 1.8% of the
population who identify in some way as birders. In Australia this would
equate to 360,000 birders roaming our swamps, forests and sewage farms.
(What a thought!)

But then again, my 1999 edition of Pizzey and Knight states on the cover
that 40,000 copies had been sold. So unless people bought multiple copies or
30,000 visiting overseas birders bought it, the actual figure may be higher
than my 10,000 estimate. 

After all that arithmetic, I think I need a lie down now.


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