Archive for the ‘News’ Category

World Parks Congress in Sydney – join Hangout next week

World Parks Congress in Sydney November 2013 – join Hangout next week 4  October 2013

 Girraween National Park: photo Araucaria Ecotours

Girraween National Park: photo Araucaria Ecotours

Next year representatives of nations from across the world will gather together in Sydney to discuss Nationa Parks and other conservation areas on or planet

Wildlife conservation and wildlife tourism are of course heavily dependent on such parks.

The Worild Parks Congress is an important event that only happens once in ten years

Join Ron Mader of in a Google Hangout 9.30am Darwin time next Friday 4 October during the wildlife tourism workshop.

Here’s Ron’s abstract for his Google Hangouts presentation:

What we want to learn from the 2014 World Parks Congress

Ron Mader – presented via Google Hangouts

The World Parks Congress takes place once every ten years and is the world’s most influential gathering of people involved in protected area management.

Sydney, Australia hosts the event in November 2014.

Ron Mader previews the event with recommendations for participants - physical and remote – on making the most of this congress in a live stream Google hangout on October 4 (Australia time) from Oaxaca, Mexico (October 3 Mexico time).

Among the focal points of the World Parks Congress:

  • Achieving conservation results
  • Engaging a new generation
  • Broadening participation
  • Improving health and well being
  • Reconciling development challenges
  • Respecting diverse knowledge systems
  • Reacting to climate change
  • Securing food and water

Of particular interest is the creation of a series of goals by which we can measure the success of the congress.



Wildlife Tourism Workshop next week!


Wildlife Tourism Workshop next week!


Snake as Sister, Spectacle or Scientific Object:

Connecting the Dots for Wildlife Tourism 

An exciting workshop begins in Darwin, Northern Territory  next week

There are still spaces available for the workshop and for poster presentations (not oral ones) and some field trips and social events

The event will be opened by Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory.

Talks will range from birding around the world and for disabled birders, controlling tourism effects on biodiversity, hurdles faced by small operators and guides,  to loving your local (native) cockroach
Afternoons will be filled with discussions such as research into wildlife, conservation and tourism, finding new ways of offering wildlife experiences to visitors and what works and what doesn’t in training guides in regional areas
If you’d like to join us but haven’t yet registered, please do so ASAP!
rainbow pitta:courtesy Experience the Wild

rainbow pitta:courtesy Experience the Wild

An update from Venus Bay Eco Retreat


Mae Adams, the owner of Venus Bay Eco Retreat has let us know she has a new updated website.

The site looks great with easy navigation and heaps of photos, making it look very inviting!  She has also added an online live booking system.

Here’s the link:  Venus Bay Eco Retreat



Whale Watching in Australia

The team at HotelClub have done quite a bit of research and come up with this great blog about Whale Watching in Australia.

It will give you the time and locations you are most likely to see whales, a description about whale behaviour so you can talk like an expert when you see a whale doing something, whale facts….and so much more.

Check it out here.

Opening up Queensland’s National Parks for Ecotourism

Daves Creek Country

Daves Creek Country, Lamington National Park (photo: Araucaria Ecotours)

Opening up Queensland’s National Parks for Ecotourism

None of our national parks are currently closed to ecotourism, so the thrust of the new policies and legislation are to open up the national parks to new activities and facilities, and to streamline the bureaucratic processes for permits

Our challenge now will be to develop innovative ways of showcasing our wildlife and ecosystems to attract visitors but not impinge on the biodiversity our parks are currently protecting

Feel free to offer comments below, including the questions we should be asking and  the kind of research and monitoring that should accompany such ‘opening up.’

Two new wildlife tourism papers

Two new wildlife tourism papers

(two of the authors – Isabelle Wolf and David Croft) are also Wildlife Tourism Australia members)

Wolf, I. D., Hagenloh, G., & Croft, D. B. (2012). Visitor monitoring along roads and hiking trails: How to determine usage levels in tourist sites. Tourism Management, 33, 16-28.

From the abstract: “We assessed visitor use at 80 sites in the Flinders Ranges gorges and compared 11 visitor variables for their potential to differentiate usage levels between sites either exposed to vehicle or hiker traffic. …. We recommend GPS tracking because of the reliability and detail of data and the many sites per day that can be sampled. … Survey data gathered in relation to specific site-use were tempered by the memory of visitors and their ability to describe or reference the visited sites on a map. ”

Wolf, I. D., Stricker, H. K., & Hagenloh, G. (2013). Interpretive media that attract park visitors and enhance their experiences: a comparison of modern and traditional tools using GPS tracking and GIS technology. Tourism Management Perspectives, 7, 59-72.

Animals under stress in a zoo

Animals under stress in a zoo

[Please see comments below by Trevor Buchanan  and responses: apologies for confusion]

Wildlife tourism, including well-run zoos and wildlife parks, can be very good for wildlife

This zoo appears to be an example of one that isn’t

One of our readers started the following conversation on the Wildlife Tourism Australia Facebook:

Her name is Melani, a Sumatran Tiger in KBS (Surabaya Zoo), Indonesia.

She is undernourished, you can see her skin clinging to her bones. At her age, a healthy feline should weighted at 100 kg, but Melani is 60 kg. Her days are spent laying helpless on the cage floor. Almost every food she consumed was eventually vomited a few moments later, and diarrhea is preying for her life. The only trace of her soul is her fierce eyes seeking for your help. Melani is not the only one. Last month, a male tiger Razak died after lungs disease due to tiny and unsanitary cage. Many are now concerned Melani will die soon, or she might face euthanasia. Ironically there are only 600 Sumatran tigers left in Sumatran forests.

In March 2012, the only giraffe in KBS died in her cage after her stomach was filled with plastic garbage. The giraffe and other animals in KBS do live under inhumane condition: tiny cage filled with garbage and inadequate sunlight. Some of them does not have shelter after their cage was leased as rooms for humans, and leafy trees to shade was occupied for witchcraft clinic.

We ask you to join the petition to support the Minister of Forestry to act immediately and save the animals at the KBS zoo. Not only because they are endangered, but also because they are a living being like us that can feel pain and fear. Let’s speak up for those who cannot speak.

sign this petition:

updated data from sumatran tiger:

video about Melani:

On Behalf of Melani, Thank you very much for your support.

still need your help Prof.
share it to your friend.
God bless you
Saturday 6:28am [from WTA]
That zoo sounds terrible
Would you like to write something about it in English for the Wildlife Tourism Australia blog, to tell more people about the kind of wildlife tourism that is NOT acceptable and perhaps get some more signatures on the petition?
Saturday 12:22pm
Surabaya Zoo, also known as Kebun Binatang Surabaya (KBS), was founded in 1916 and is the one of the largest zoos in South East Asia, covering 37 acres and housing over 350 species. The zoo has fallen into disrepute over the last few years with widespread allegations of mistreatment, corruption, and uncontrolled breeding. Many of the animals cared for at KBS live in pitiable conditions, some are highly endangered species. This must stop.
The Zoo states there are 2,800 animals living there, other reports put the number at closer to 4,000. The mistreatment of the animals started to attract widespread condemnation in 2010. In that year, the Jakarta Post labelled KBS as the Surabaya “Zoo of Death”. In the same year the Forestry Ministry revoked Surabaya Zoo’s license after many animal deaths including rare species such as Sumatran tigers, Komodo Dragons, lions and crocodiles
East Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) conducted an investigation, which found that negligent keepers were to blame for most of the animal deaths. It is alleged that zookeepers are stealing meat which they sell to the black market. Also that animals are being stolen by the zookeepers and also sold.
The zoo does not have the cashflow needed to feed, house and breed the animals in it’s care. Entry is less than US$2.00 per person. It does not generate enough. Subsequently, the animals are maltreated and underfed. The zoo is unable to separate breeding animals, so breeding is out of control. For example, nearly 200 pelicans inhabit a filthy enclosure the size of a basketball court. They do not have the room to move their wings.
Recently a giraffe died that was found to have an 18kg ball of plastic in it’s stomach, It had been living off food thrown to it by visitors, such as candy bars, which often still had the wrapper on it.
Tigers are kept locked in small concrete cells because they do not have enough room to exercise. They are allowed out of their damp cells for only 3 days for every 10 they are locked up. Some animals have chronic long term back and leg complaints because they cannot exercise. Many have wasting digestive diseases from eating tainted meat.

Reference sites: 

Saturday 8:49pm
The latest news from JAAN (JAKARTA ANIMAL AID NETWORK): “We received an update from the veterinarian at Surabaya Zoo that Melanie has a digestive problem since her birth in the zoo and Melanie is now on a special diet and provided extra vitamins and medicines for the digestive tract and that her condition is somehow slowly improving and that she might be relocated to yet another zoo.”
Chat Conversation End
 [one wonders how the tiger could have reached such a terribly malnourished state before the special diet and vitamin supplements were introduced, but at least it is good that she is now being given some assistance]
Thanks, Antonius, for telling us about this. WTA obviously supports wildlife tourism, but not this kind of wildlife tourism.

Will Mandurah Cruises win?


WTA Member vying for top award!

Mandurah_logoMandurah Cruises are vying for the prestigious Telstra Australian Business Awards.

With the finalists just being announced Mandurah Cruises are finalists in two categories, one being the Medium Business Awards against 5 other quality businesses and they are also finalists in the Regional Awards against 3 other companies.

There were hundreds of entrants and the winners of the 2013 Australian Business Awards when all state winners get together in Sydney will share in more than $500,000 in cash grants and business products which is split amongst, state territory and national winners.

The state winners proceed to the national awards in Sydney on 22nd August 2013.

The Telstra Business Group Managing Director and ambassador for the Telstra Australia Business Awards, said the range and experience of Western Australian businesses vying for this year’s awards was a positive sign and showed a real diversity of thinking in the local economy.

“The calibre of Western Australian finalists in this year’s awards is outstanding and goes to show why small and medium businesses are the backbone of Australia,” Mr Irving said.

“It is important that we recognise the businesses that support our local communities and celebrate the significant contribution they make by creating jobs, driving innovation and bringing their expertise and innovations to customers – locally and all over the world”

Winners of the 2013 western Australian Business Awards will be announced in Perth at the Perth convention & Exhibition centre on July 23.

Good luck Mandurah!  We know you already have many awards so we know you can do it!

Handbook of Tourism Economics (Clement Tisdell 2013)

handbook_economicsHandbook of Tourism Economics:  Analysis, New Applications and Case Studies

editor Prof Clem Tisdell

2013 Published by World Scientific

Review, Ronda Green, Chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia

This is a massive book with many case studies, informed perspectives on many issues, and many links to other references. The editor, Emeritus Professor Clement Tisdell, is one of Australia’s most widely-published economists, and a leading expert on the economics of wildlife tourism. In the first chapter, he points out that since tourism is a conglomerate of many industries it is now the world’s largest industry in terms of employment and global production.

The book covers many themes: the demand for touring, the supply of tourist services, studies of particular segments of the tourist industry, cost-benefit analysis, public economics and tourism, inter-industry features of tourism, tourism satellite accounts, international economic issues and tourism, studies of the contribution of tourism to economic development, and environmental and conservation matters involving tourism

As this is a review for Wildlife Tourism Australia, and the book is so big (988 pages) I’ll concentrate here on the aspects most relevant to wildlife tourism.

Tisdell and Wilson explain the meaning of public economics and problems of applying the concept. They include discussion of government subsidies to tourism (some of which benefit locals as well as visitors), the user-pays principle (especially in national parks and wilderness areas) and other topics of interest to anyone involved in wildlife tourism.

Hohl has much to say on ecotourism as an instrument to conserve biodiversity. He lists a rather alarming and perhaps depressing number of obstacles to achieving such goals but still appears to hold out some hope for the possibility of ecotourism assisting the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and is of he opinion that with increasing pressures of the word’s population on natural areas, in many cases ecotourism may be the only way to halt the destruction of nature. He also cautions conservations not to be too pure in their demands – if building a casino near a national park can help save the park, this is better than losing it.

Jakobssen and Dragun, in an overview of environmental and conservation issues of consequence for tourism policy, argue that “effective tourism policy will need to be developed to balance a range of objectives which may appear to be pulling in different directions.” They point to issues such as the relative environmental sustainability of tourism relative to other land uses and cite cases in Australia, Madagascar and Europe where the development of tourism has led to substantial environmental improvement, but also the dangers of over-use (including the amount of land required not only for accommodation but roads, airports, waste disposal, provision of water etc.), interference with wildlife and their habitats, and the interplay of private and public goods. Ecotourism risks being perceived as elitist if environmental protection is attempted by limiting numbers in natural habitats and raising prices to invest in conservation, but there is also a perception of unfair “free rides” by unpaid access to public goods contributed to by others. They consider that “considerable innovation is necessary to design efficient instruments … to achieve the desired level of environmental remediation”.

Esparon et al ask whether eco-accreditation benefits operators financially, and they discuss the necessity for customers to believe in the genuineness of certification assisting the environment if they are to be willing to pay higher prices for certified product.

Driml discusses the importance of national parks in Australian tourism and examines what is known of expenditure in their vicinity by visitors and by the government,. They point out that tourism in protected areas is “potentially both an economic justification for conservation and a threat to conservation if not well managed.” This is a very timely consideration in Australia, where many of our national parks are being opened up to new activities and facilities within the parks.

Tawfik and Turner use an Egyptian coral reef that is visited extensively for dive tourism, to argue that an ecosystem services should be taken in management plans, incorporating impacts of land use as well as the seascape.

Mitra and Lama discuss tourism in a remote region rich in wildlife and other natural features in an eastern state of India. While seeing the potential value of wildlife tourism and ecotourism for the economy and conservation of natural values in the region they point to the difficulties in attracting and satisfying visitors to such remote, under-developed areas.

Duhs writes of the importance of international students to Australia’s economy, pointing out that a third of the students graduating from our universities were not born here. The chapter didn’t say this, but there could be significant opportunities here for wildlife tourism, both connected with actual courses n environmental science or tourism, and for introducing international students to the unique features of their temporarily-adopted country. Duhls also points to problems with future growth of educational tourism.

As you might imagine, there is much further information packed into the 988 pages (including tourism demand models, tourism market segmentation, the changing role of travel agents and other intermediaries) to interest anyone in the tourism business. Each chapter also lists many references to further literature.

I was a little surprised by the number of typos in the book, which I assume was a result of time constraints during the proof-reading, but this should certainly not deter anyone from delving into this excellent and valuable publication.

It’s not a cheap book (see but if you can’t afford a personal copy it would be well worth asking your local library to purchase one.

National parks in India aim for tiger conservation

Guest post

Top 5 national parks in India which aim for tiger conservation

Jessica Frei

India possesses half of the world’s tiger population, but the astonishing fact is that these ferocious creatures are in grave danger. There are only fewer numbers of tigers left in India that are on the verge of getting extinct from the earth. However, in order to contain the abating population of the tigers, the various government agencies and national parks in India are introducing various conservation programs such as the Project Tiger, nature camps and education at the school level to protect the tigers. Some of the National Parks that have undertaken tiger conservation programs are as follows:

Jim Corbett National Park

The Jim Corbett National park is renowned as one of the first national parks in India from where the ‘Project Tiger’ was initiated. It is also the oldest national park of India. During the 19th century, there were approximately 50000 tigers all across India. In the year 1972, their population decreased alarmingly to 1800 all over India. Deeply concerned by the dwindling number of tigers, the former Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi took some concrete steps to protect these species from the brink of extinction. As a result, Project Tiger was launched on 1st April, 1973 in the Corbett tiger reserve. Since then, there has been no looking back as this particular project is still proving to be successful for the tiger conservation.

Tiger, Photo:  K shreesh

Tiger, Photo: K shreesh

Bandipur National Park

Bandipur National Park is situated in Mysore (Karnataka) that was set up as a tiger reserve in the year 1973, under Project Tiger. The population of tigers in this park has increased considerably, mainly due to the conservation efforts of the National Tiger Conservation Agency, a well-known government agency and scientific monitoring of the tigers. The monitoring of the tigers is done by the amazing technique known as the camera trap. The camera trapping project undertaken by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the involvement of several local people and NGOs has greatly helped in boosting the population of tigers significantly.

Bandhavgarh National Park

The popular Bandhavgarh National Park is located in Umaria (Madhya Pradesh). It was declared a national park in the year 1958. Considering the large percentage of flora and fauna found in the park, it was included in the Project Tiger Network in 1993. The Madhya Pradesh government has launched many conservation efforts in this park with the help of the World Bank (WB). The funds provided by the WB are utilized to develop the necessary infrastructure and training staff for the tiger protection. M.P. Tiger Foundation Society has also been formed that collects funds from the people and NGO’s to safeguard the tigers.

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is situated in Sawai Madhopur District (Rajasthan) was declared as the tiger reserve in 1980. The main objective of the park is to protect the tigers and various other flora and fauna of the forest. When the reserve was established, there were many villages in the park that used the forest year for grazing. After the creation of the reserve, the villagers were relocated to another place to shield the wildlife. Many ecodevelopment committees have been formed to protect the forests and the special patrolling is undertaken in the regular area to prevent tigers from poaching.

Panna National Park

Panna National Park is nestled in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. The park is renowned all over the world as one of the best maintained parks in India. It also got the Award of Excellence in 2007. The park was created in the year 1981 and declared as a tiger reserve in 1994. The reserve boasts of an excellent wireless network that proves to be useful to take quick action in the event of poaching. Fire line maintenance work is carried out every year to prevent any event of fire in the park.

Therefore, the prominent conservation activities undertaken by the national parks in India will really save the tigers and delete their name from the endangered species list.

Author bio-

Jessica frei is a wildlife enthusiast and a blogger too, she likes to travel different national parks and wildlife sanctuaries all over the globe. She is currently in India on her wildlife tour. In this article she is sharing about different national parks which aim to conserve tiger.

« Previous PageNext Page »