Wildlife viewing is the observation of animals in their native habitats as a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for animal sounds. Many national parks champion wildlife viewing as a key activity.
According to The Outdoor Foundation, U.S. participation in wildlife viewing grew from 20.3 million participants in 2006 (7.4% of those aged 6 and up) to a peak of 24.1 million in 2008 (8.6%) before declining to 22.0 million in 2011 (7.7% of U.S. population aged 6 and up). Out of the 42 activities measured by the foundation, wildlife viewing came in at #6 on the list.