This study is part of a larger North American initiative to examine people’s interactions with waterfowl and wetlands in order to understand the dynamics of these interactions, and how the motivations for these interactions appear to have shifted from consumption to appreciation. This research investigated the characteristics that influence birdwatching and waterfowl hunting participation in Canada, and permit a broader examination of waterfowl conservation in a North American context. This effort represents the first continental effort to actively engage the broad range of stakeholders and management professionals in the process of developing objectives for waterfowl and wetlands management. Six objectives framed the development of this study:
1. Assess what hunters and other waterfowl conservationists (i.e., bird watchers/birders) most desire from their natural resource-based management and social settings to inform NAWMP objectives andselect habitat and population management alternatives.
2. Establish baseline measures that can be repeated to inform the development of a Public Engagement Strategy and monitor trends in achieving the NAWMP goal of “growing numbers of waterfowl hunters, other conservationists, and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.”
3. Assess waterfowl hunters’ and conservationists’ knowledge, preferences, levels of use and support for waterfowl and wetlands conservation.
4. Assess the general publics’ participation in waterfowl‐associated recreation and how much they support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.
5. Assess the general publics’ awareness and their perceptions regarding the importance of the benefits and values (i.e., ecological goods and services — EGS) provided by waterfowl and wetlands conservation.
6. Assess waterfowl professionals’ perspectives on the levels of waterfowl populations and habitats needed to support hunter and viewer use opportunities.