Abstracts of Recently Published Wildlife Papers
April 2016, Volume 14-2

THE CUSTOMER ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHT—CONSERVATION AND ANIMAL WELFARE IMPLICATIONS OF THE INCREASING DEMAND FOR WILDLIFE TOURISM

Tom P. Moorhouse, Cecilia A. L. Dahlsjö, Sandra E. Baker, Neil C. D’Cruze, David W. Macdonald. 2015 PLoS ONE 10(10): e0138939. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138939.

Tourism accounts for 9% of global GDP and comprises 1.1 billion tourist arrivals per annum. Visits to wildlife tourist attractions (WTAs) may account for 20–40% of global tourism, but no studies have audited the diversity of WTAs and their impacts on the conservation status and welfare of subject animals. We scored these impacts for 24 types of WTA, visited by 3.6–6 million tourists per year, and compared our scores to tourists’ feedback on TripAdvisor. Six WTA types (impacting 1,500–13,000 individual animals) had net positive conservation/welfare impacts, but 14 (120,000–340,000 individuals) had negative conservation impacts and 18 (230,000–550,000 individuals) had negative welfare impacts. Despite these figures only 7.8% of all tourist feedback on these WTAs was negative due to conservation/welfare concerns. We demonstrate that WTAs have substantial negative effects that are unrecognized by the majority of tourists, suggesting an urgent need for tourist education and regulation of WTAs worldwide.

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UNEXPECTED AND UNDESIRED CONSERVATION OUTCOMES OF WILDLIFE TRADE BANS—AN EMERGING PROBLEM FOR STAKEHOLDERS?

Diana S. Weber, Tait Mandler, Markus Dyck, Peter J. Van Coeverden De Groot, David S. Lee, Douglas A. Clark.

2015 Global Ecology and Conservation, Elsevier B.V.

CITES regulates international trade with the goal of preventing over-exploitation, thus the survival of species are not jeopardized from trade practices; however it has been used recently in nontrade conservation measures. As an example, the US proposed to uplist polar bears under CITES Appendix I, despite that the species did not conform to the biological criteria. Polar bears were listed as ‘threatened’ under US ESA in 2008, in response to loss of sea-ice and warming temperatures. In Nunavut, where most of Canada’s polar bears are harvested, the resulting trade ban did not decrease total harvest after the ESA listing but reduced US hunter participation and the proportion of quotas taken by sport hunters from specific populations. Consequently, the import ban impacted livelihoods of Arctic indigenous communities with negative conservation — reduced tolerance for dangerous fauna and affected local participation in shared management initiatives. The polar bear may be the exemplar of an emerging problem: the use of trade bans in place of action for non-trade threats, e.g., climate change. Conservation prospects for this species and other climate-sensitive wildlife will likely diminish if the increasing use of trade bans to combat non-trade issues cause stakeholders to lose faith in participatory management.

Download at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989415000074

Compiled by Gerhard R Damm