Quantifying wildlife-watching ecotourism intensity on an endangered marine vertebrate

Schofield, G., Scott, Rebecca, Katselidis, K. A., Mazaris, A. D. and Hays, G. C. (2015) Quantifying wildlife-watching ecotourism intensity on an endangered marine vertebrate Animal Conservation, 18 (6). pp. 517-528. DOI 10.1111/acv.12202.

[img] Text
Schofield_etal_2015_AnimCons_WildlifeWatching_acv_12202 (1).pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (1102Kb) | Contact
[img] Text
acv12202-sup-0001-si.doc - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (1784Kb) | Contact

Supplementary data:

Abstract

Here, we show how seasonal changes in animal density drive strategic shifts in the activities of wildlife-watching operators. These shifts result in high viewing intensity when animal densities are low, highlighting the need for modifications to existing wildlife-watching guidelines. We used the endangered loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta as a model species that exhibits staggered departure from an important breeding area (Zakynthos, Greece, Mediterranean) over a 2-month period (July to August) when tourism is at a peak, to investigate changes in wildlife-watching strategies, zoning effectiveness and voluntary guideline compliance over time. We used a combination of direct land-based observations, global positioning system tracking (of wildlife-watching vessels and turtles) and models. The modelled number of turtles present in the breeding area decreased from > 200 in July to < 50 in August, while the intensity of turtle-viewing increased from a mean 1.5 to 6.1 wildlife-watching vessels per turtle-viewing event (i.e. concurrent and consecutive vessels observing a single turtle) over the same period, respectively. During this period, the wildlife-watching strategy changed and compliance to guidelines reduced (exacerbated by recreational vessels). However, wildlife-watching activity was limited to a highly restricted 0.95-km2 nearshore area, overlapping with just 9.5% of the core habitat area used by turtles. Our results have broad implications (whale watching etc.) by showing the importance of taking the number of animals available for viewing into consideration when assessing wildlife-watching activity and when designing viewing guidelines, particularly for populations where numbers noticeably fluctuate

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000367672500004
Keywords: disturbance; free-ranging; limits of acceptable change; non-consumptive recreation; product-market; spatial analysis; wilderness management; wildlife-watching
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1111/acv.12202
ISSN: 1367-9430
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2016 09:26
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2017 08:13
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/31113

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...