Close Encounters with Wild Animals: Evaluating a New Form of Wildlife Tourism
A variety of factors can motivate people to seek out and value interaction with wild animals, including certain physical and behavioral characteristics, entertainment and film, and species status. Legislation protects dolphins and manatees against harassment, but few studies have examined the direct effects of HWAI on the target species. It is likely that HWAI results in various sub-lethal effects, such as modifications to activity and energy budgets, but we have little direct information regarding the consequences of such behavioral changes. This makes management of the HWAI tourism industry difficult, because enforcing agencies must first demonstrate how a particular action harms a species in order to prosecute.
I recommend a suite of policy alternatives that could help to protect target species based on existing knowledge, including increased educational efforts and changes to the current permitting process and regulatory regime. I conclude by identifying areas where more monitoring and research are necessary.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:dolphin manatee tourism swim with
Date of Publication:12/07/2007