Conservation potential of apex predator tourism

Catherine Macdonald, Austin J. Gallagher, Adam Barnett, Juerg Brunnschweiler, David S. Shiffman, Neil Hammerschlag

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent decades, public interest in apex predators has led to the creation and expansion of predator-focused wildlife tourism. As wildlife tourism has become an increasing topic of study for both social and biological scientists, researchers have debated whether these activities serve conservation goals by providing non-consumptive values for wildlife. Discussion of predator tourism requires additional recognition of predator-specific biological and ecological characteristics, consideration of human safety concerns, and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. By reviewing tourism activities centered on both aquatic and terrestrial predators from diverse taxa (sharks, crocodiles, and big cats), we evaluate the potential benefits and conservation challenges associated with predator tourism. Our review suggests that positive conservation outcomes are possible, but not assured given historical, cultural, and ecological complexities. We explore some of the factors which determine whether tourism contributes to conservation outcomes, including (1) effective protection of animals and habitats, (2) avoidance and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict, (3) quality of associated educational interpretation and outreach, (4) collaboration with local stakeholders, and (5) use of generated funds to advance conservation goals. Our findings suggest tourism is most likely to support predator conservation and/or recovery when the industry has both public and political support and under conditions of effective regulation focused on management, monitoring and enforcement by local, national, and international bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-141
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume215
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Fingerprint

tourism
predator
predators
human-wildlife relations
wildlife
mitigation
crocodiles
outreach
shark
sharks
stakeholders
stakeholder
researchers
cats
safety
industry
monitoring
habitat
habitats
animals

Keywords

  • Big cats
  • Carnivores
  • Conservation tools
  • Crocodiles
  • Ecotourism
  • Predator
  • Sharks
  • Tourism
  • Wildlife

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Macdonald, C., Gallagher, A. J., Barnett, A., Brunnschweiler, J., Shiffman, D. S., & Hammerschlag, N. (2017). Conservation potential of apex predator tourism. Biological Conservation, 215, 132-141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.013

Conservation potential of apex predator tourism. / Macdonald, Catherine; Gallagher, Austin J.; Barnett, Adam; Brunnschweiler, Juerg; Shiffman, David S.; Hammerschlag, Neil.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 215, 01.11.2017, p. 132-141.

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

Macdonald, C, Gallagher, AJ, Barnett, A, Brunnschweiler, J, Shiffman, DS & Hammerschlag, N 2017, 'Conservation potential of apex predator tourism', Biological Conservation, vol. 215, pp. 132-141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.013
Macdonald C, Gallagher AJ, Barnett A, Brunnschweiler J, Shiffman DS, Hammerschlag N. Conservation potential of apex predator tourism. Biological Conservation. 2017 Nov 1;215:132-141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.013
Macdonald, Catherine ; Gallagher, Austin J. ; Barnett, Adam ; Brunnschweiler, Juerg ; Shiffman, David S. ; Hammerschlag, Neil. / Conservation potential of apex predator tourism. In: Biological Conservation. 2017 ; Vol. 215. pp. 132-141.
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