Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters


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It has the recreational aspects of adventure travel, and usually supports the values of ecotourism and nature conservation programs. Wildlife tourism can cause significant disturbances to animals in their natural habitats. Even among the tourism practices which boast minimal-to-no direct contact with wildlife, the growing interest in traveling to developing countries has created a boom in resort and hotel construction, particularly on rain forest and mangrove forest lands.

Wildlife viewing can scare away animals, disrupt their feeding and nesting sites, or acclimate them to the presence of people. In Kenya, for example, wildlife-observer disruption drives cheetahs off their reserves, increasing the risk of inbreeding and further endangering the species. The practice of selling slots for tourists to participate in sanctioned hunts [2] and culls , [3] though seemingly innocent, can serve to impact populations negatively through indirect means.

This is especially true of big-game and highly marketable species. Such unofficial organizations can promote the hunting or collecting of wildlife for profit without participating in or being sanctioned by wildlife management authorities while mimicking organized operations to fool unwary tourists. The pressures of tourists searching out wildlife to photograph or hunt can adversely affect hunting and feeding patterns, and the breeding success of some species.

Some may even have long-term implications for behavioral and ecological relationships. Further disturbance to wildlife occurs when tourist guides dig up turtle nests and chase swimming jaguars , tapirs , and otters to give clients better viewing opportunities.

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On the shores of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe , the number of tourist boats and the noise generated has disrupted the feeding and drinking patterns of elephants and the black rhinoceros - it is feared that further increases in boat traffic will affect their reproductive success. The disturbance caused by human intervention may prevent species from their regular breeding and feeding activities.

Artificial feeding of wildlife by tourists can have severe consequences for social behavior patterns. Territories were abandoned in favor of sites where food could be begged from tourists, and this has had a negative effect on the breeding success of iguanas.

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Artificial feeding can also result in a complete loss of normal feeding behaviors. Similarly, until the early s, the diet of some grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park consisted, to a large extent, of food wastes left by visitors at park refuse sites. When these sites were closed, the bears showed significant decreases in body size, reproductive rate, and litter size.

Wildlife tourism also causes disruption to intra-specific relationships. Attendance by female harp seals to their pups declined when tourists were present and those females remaining with their pups spent significantly less time nursing and more time watching the tourists. There is also a risk of the young not being recognized, and being more exposed to predator attacks.

Wildlife tourism - Wikipedia

A similar concern has been expressed over whale watching , whale calves normally maintain constant body contact with their mothers but, when separated, can transfer their attachment to the side of the boat. The viewing of certain species by wildlife tourists makes the species more vulnerable to predators. Evidence of this phenomenon has been recorded in birds, reptiles and mammals.

Problems have occurred in breeding colonies of pelicans. Vanity hunts also called canned hunt s tend to breed their animals for specific desirable features without regard for the genetic health of the population. Breeding efforts can incorporate elements of inbreeding as specific features are aggressively sought.

Inbreeding not only reinforces the presence of desirable features but brings with it the risk of inbreeding depression , which can reduce population fitness. Such operations also tend to feature other forms of animal abuse including inadequate housing and improper diet.


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Poaching , similarly to vanity hunting, selects strongly for animal phenotypes deemed desirable by hunters. By cutting down the number of animals bearing those desired phenotypes and thus harboring the associated alleles , the amount of genetic material necessary for conferring those phenotypes upon later generations of the population is depleted an example of genetic drift. This selection changes population structure over time, and can lead to a decrease in the wild-condition fitness of the population as it is forced to adapt around hunting-condition pressures.

Many owners of eco-accommodation or wildlife attractions preserve and restore native habitats on their properties. In a large way, the tourists and travellers visiting the wildlife destinations contribute to the conservation and improvement of the conditions for the animals.

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The local tribes have a decent living as the tourism flourishes as it provides opportunities of improved livelihood. Many wildlife parks e. David Fleay Wildlife Park, Gold Coast, Australia and zoos breed rare and endangered species as a part of their activities, and release the progeny when possible into suitable habitat. Some wildlife tourism contributes monetary donations to conservation efforts e.

Dreamworld, Gold Coast, has a display of Sumatran tigers, and money from visitor donations and from their 'tiger walk' goes to Sumatra to assist in-situ conservation of wild tigers. Browse titles authors subjects uniform titles series callnumbers dewey numbers starting from optional.

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Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters
Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters
Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters
Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters
Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters
Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters
Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters
Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters Facing the Wild: Ecotourism, Conservation and Animal Encounters

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