Saving wildlife through tourism
An interesting article has appeared recently: Can tourism save tigers?
“… demonstrated that densest population of tigers with the best breeding success occur within the tourism zones of the park. What is also noticed that it is during the period that tourism is slow in the Tiger Reserves like during the rains that poachers practice their trade without being detected by tour operators, hoteliers, tourists who otherwise act as threats to poachers.”
They also point out that “[c]ountries like South Africa generate the maintenance cost of national parks completely from the tourism Industry. The Indian Wildlife tourism should be inspired by this where the major part of the expenses of maintaining the park could be covered by tourism. In India the fees collected at the Indian Sanctuaries are a miniscule percentage of the cost of maintenance.”
If you are traveling to India, supporting these reserves could help the tiger’s future, and that of other animals sharing its habitat.
Here in Australia, Dreamworld on the Gold Coast is assisting tigers from afar, raising significant amounts of money for anti-poaching and other conservation activities in Indonesia and Russia.
Australia’s endangered creatures are generally not as big and spectacular as the tiger, and would often entail a few hours of travel away from major centres of population to see in the wild, and (for mammals) mostly at night.
What has been done (and continues to be done) for the bilby through schools and tourism is great. Other projects have varied from highly successful to failing after a few years.Operations such as Dolphin Discovery, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and various operations run by National Parks such as Cleland Wildlife Park and the David Fleay Wildlife Park are all encouraging
But with time running out for many of our species, further creative, innovative and workable ideas to expand on the services tourism can provide to our native creatures and help them survive into the future would be very welcome.
We’d also like to know other examples elsewhere in the world, including where the smaller, less conspicuous, less famous animals have been assisted through tourism