Here’s the latest installment in The Pueblo Chieftain’s Colorado Water 2012 series, written by SeEtta Moss. Here’s an excerpt:
In many locations, the amount of water needed to support specified bird species can be quantified. But it is necessary to conduct a site-specific study that is targeted to either high-priority bird species or those that are representative of a guild of birds. Fortunately, birds consume very little of the water and most of the water needed for them is for evaporative or transit loss. Some species of birds, primarily those that migrate into or through Colorado, could avoid those parts of Colorado if there is insufficient water to meet their needs. That would have impacts on both the resident and non-resident bird watchers and would likely result in significant economic impacts to those areas of the state where the birds and bird watchers are absent.
The economic impact of bird watching in Colorado is significant. The 2006 report of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation estimated there were 737,000 bird watchers (only those watching wildlife away from home). Bird watchers spent well over $250 million in Colorado on trip-related expenses during 2006.
More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.