Archive for the ‘News’ Category


Destiny Eco-Cottage, southeast Queensland, praised

Destiny Eco-Cottage, southeast Queensland, praised

Stunning views, unique cottages, wildlife and asses.

DestinyRedCottageTim of Eco Safaris had this to say about Destiny Eco-Cottage after visiting:

Laze on your veranda with a drop of local red, watching the pretty-faced wallabies as the sun sets over the valley” – sounds a bit like a corny advertisement, but it’s true. Destiny Boonah Eco Cottages are surrounded by National Park and have glorious views across the Scenic Rim out to the Great Dividing Range.
Destiny Boonah is run by the ever-gregarious Heike. Originally from Germany, a few years back she was travelling in Australia when she came across Boonah. Struck with the beauty of the region, in her words she ‘found her destiny’, and found a way to stay.
Heike has a passion for animals and provides a private ‘eco-tour’ around the property on her 4WD-golf-buggy-cart-like vehicle. It’s at sunset so she can tell you all about the native animals that come out to play. Various types of wallabies are common as well as echidnas, possums, various birdlife including eagles, and the newest resident – ‘Tiger’ the koala!
Destiny_viewBut Heike also has a passion for her asses with her ‘Assquestrian Centre’ (you read right). Heike is one of the good people. She saves mistreated donkeys, treats them like royalty and provides fun and educational donkey sessions for groups.
Oh yeah – the accommodation………. These cute, self-contained cottages have acquired a bunch of eco certified badges. They’re solar powered, beautifully appointed throughout, cozy, well equipped, spacious and of course, spotlessly clean. Different sized cottages are suitable for couples, families and groups.
Destiny has private walking tracks and is only minutes away from Lake Maroon & Lake Moogerah. You’re also just 7km’s to Boonah’s restaurants, shops and two great wineries. Stay 3 nights get a free wildlife tour.


A cuckoo feeds a juvenile

A cuckoo feeds a juvenile

Channel-billed cuckoo feeding on figs: photo Geonature

Channel-billed cuckoo feeding on figs: photo Geonature

by WTA member Ian Black of Geonature

I arrived at Hinterland Park on the Gold Coast early in the morning and could hear the Channel Billed Cuckoo’s as I pulled up into the carpark. Heading straight for the large fruiting fig tree, I found them feeding as was to be expected (right), but they took off to a big old gum tree a hundred meters away on the highest part of the ridge when they noticed me.

I followed the walking trail around to below the gum tree where one of the cuckoos was making a large ruckus and i was trying to take a few photos of the Cuckoo high in the tree when the other cuckoo returned and with great commotion fed the first bird a fig (below). This continued as i watched the adult return and with those large bills, awkwardly feed the one in the gum tree while it screamed for more.

As the Channel Billed Cuckoo is Australia’s largest brood parasite and does not raise its own young I was surprised to watch what seemed to be an adult doing just that.

See the photo of the cuckoo feeding the youngster also here on Skydrive

Channel-billed cuckoo adult feeding juvenile cuckoo

Channel-billed cuckoo adult feeding juvenile cuckoo: photo Geonature


Book Review. Nature-based Tourism and Conservation

Book Review. Nature-based Tourism and Conservation (Tisdell and Wilson)

book covrTisdell, C. and Wilson, C. 2012. Nature-based Tourism and Conservation: New Economic Insights and Case Studies, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham

Review by Ronda Green, Chair of Wildlife Tourism Australia

Ecotourism is often cited as a saviour of wildlife and their habitats, a view that is regarded with skepticism by others. In general the ideas are commendable but we often lack the necessary knowledge of local situations to effectively enhance conservation efforts as well as offering great experiences to tourists and financial gain to operators and the local community.

This volume, based on research since the turn of this century, offers valuable insights and information on the connection between nature tourism and biodiversity conservation from an economic perspective.It is an important bridging aid that should be read by all who are interested in this topic. Those more familiar with the economics of the tourism industry will gain many insights into the complexities of biodiversity conservation, and those more well-versed in conservation biology will be introduced to many aspects of the role of economics in achieving conservation aims through tourism.

Useful economics tools are described, but their limitations for particular situations are also discussed. Assumptions such as consumers always being fully informed and making rational choices for instance are not always valid. Models used for one purpose may need modifications to be used for others. Difficulties of finding answers to what would seem like simple questions are also discussed – e.g. visitation rates to World Heritage listed sites, when some of these sites cover vast areas and have multiple entry points.

The authors point out that many tourists travel to experience natural wonders and to enjoy nature in various other ways, and that such experiences can form an important part of their travel even when not the primary purpose. They ask whether the growth of nature tourism has a positive or negative effect on nature conservation, and caution from the start that there is no simple answer, a theme that is revisited multiple times throughout the work. One case discussed at some length is that of hatchery-raised sea-turtles as a combined tourism-conservation project, demonstrating that it can certainly create an economic return, but although there is potential for positive conservation outcomes, the actual conservation impact (positive or negative) depends very much on how the industry is managed in any particular region, and that there are relevant factors we don’t as yet know in sufficient detail (e.g. survival rate of young turtles hatched in the wild as opposed to those raised in hatcheries, including those kept for lengthy periods before release). A survey of the tourist activity based on turtles coming ashore to lay eggs at Mon Repos in Queensland resulted in a more favourable report for conservation, both in terms of education of visitors and of lack of adverse effects (the authors note that the turtles indeed seem to be increasing there).

An interesting point raised in the first chapter is that Birdlilfe International encourages its members to travel to demonstrate the value of bird and habit conservation. This may at first reading sound a little manipulative, but I see it more as a way of nature-lovers showing the concern they already  feel, and their support for local conservation projects, while being rewarded by an enjoyable holiday or day-trip. Bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts don’t always make it obvious that they are visiting a region (and thus spending on local products and services)  for this pleasure, and so tourism providers, travel agents and local councils may well be unaware of their reasons for being there: maybe  nature-loving tourists could develop a habit of chatting more with hotel staff, service station attendants, waiters and others!

Some of the topics are very relevant to changes happening in Australia’s legislation in the current decade, with several governments wanting to ‘open up’ national parks to increasingly more kinds of tourism activities and facilities, and to downplay the role of biodiversity conservation as opposed to recreation. A survey showed that visitors to a reserve in Far North Queensland were largely opposed  to the development of commercial services and facilities in national parks, although they mostly favoured guided tours within national parks. World Heritage values are hailed in the book as important for national pride in natural areas, and enhancing protection by the federal government. Recent proposed changes to our legislation may see a watering down of the ability of federal government to intervene in matters related to World Heritage, and to the de-listing of some sites.

Conservation costs money, and the concept of national parks making money to be used for conservation management is essentially sound, but the details of how to do so are problematic. Increasing the tourism dollar may not have to depend on introducing more 4WD, horse-riding and accommodation into our national parks. The book points to  a number of opportunities as yet under-utilised, such as more provision for the under-supplied and growing demand for opportunities for sea-bird viewing, and possibilities for insect-based tourism such as butterfly- or fire-fly watching. The authors also present findings on surveys on willingness of visitors to pay for entry into national parks: opposition to the idea includes a feeling that ‘nature should be free’,  that charging for national park entry makes it a more elitist  activity, and that proceeds from those that do charge entry fees go into general government revenue rather than specifically towards conservation management.

Contributions to local economies is an essential component of ecotourism, and also provides incentives to local government to protect natural areas. Research discussed in the book shows where this is well established and places where it is not (for instance the lack of local restaurants and souvenir shops near natural attractions such as glow worm sites).

There are many examples where tourism is contributing to conservation either directly or indirectly, or has a real potential for doing so. There are other cases such as tree-kangaroo viewing in Far North Queensland where group sizes need to be small and the activity is labour-intensive for the guide and to some extent for the tourists themselves, where the tourism dollar is thus currently insufficient to pay for conservation, and government assistance is necessary. The very title of the tree-kangaroo chapter suggests that more revenue could perhaps be raised if the species became more famous amongst tourists. Doubtless there are many other species that could achieve more tourist demand, but many others that never will, and will always need additional sources of revenue.

The concluding remark by the authors in the final chapter is that “Nature-based tourism should not be regarded as a substitute for other policy measures designed to sustain wild biodiversity, but it can be a useful supplement to such efforts.”

The chapters are as follows, and even a casual lance shows what a wide range of topics are addressed:

Part I: Background

1. An Overview of Nature-based Tourism and Conservation

2. The Growing Importance of Nature-based Tourism: Its Evolution and Significant Policy Issues

3. The User-Pays Principle and Conservation in National Parks: Review and Australian Case Study

Part II: Tourism, Protected Areas and Nature Conservation

4. World Heritage Listing of Australian Natural Sites: Effects on Tourism, Economic Value and Conservation

5. Antarctic Tourism: Environmental Concerns and the Importance of Antarctica’s Natural Attractions for Tourists

6. Rainforest Tourists: Wildlife and Other Features Attracting Visitors to Lamington National Park, Australia

7. Are Tourists Rational? Destination Decisions and Other Results from a Survey of Visitors to a North Queensland Natural Site – Jourama Falls

8. A Case Study of an NGO’s Ecotourism Efforts: Findings Based on a Survey of Visitors to its Tropical Nature Reserve

Part III: Particular Wildlife Species or Groups of Species as Tourist Attractions

9. Tourism as a Force for Conserving Sea Turtles Under Natural Conditions

10. The Role of Open-cycle Hatcheries Relying on Tourism in Sea Turtle Conservation: A Blessing or a Threat?

11. Whale-Watching as a Tourism Resource and as an Impetus for the Conservation of Whales

12. Little Penguins and Other Seabirds as Tourist Drawcards

13. Yellow-eyed Penguins and Royal Albatross as Valuable Tourist Attractions

14. Glow-worms and Other Insects Entice Tourists

15. Tree-Kangaroos, Tourism and Conservation: A Study of a Little-known Species

Part IV: This Study in Retrospect

16. General Conclusions

Where to purchase the book (or ask your library to do so)?

A couple of options are Google (a e-book option is by far the cheapest) and the Book Depository

 


Butterfly approves of Wildlife Tourism Australia’s logo

Butterfly approves of Wildlife Tourism Australia’s logo

Mark Essenhigh of Off Road Adventure Safaris had an unexpected visit from a jezebel butterfly attracted to the WTA logo on his shirt

 

Oras_butterfly1

Oras_butterfly2

Oras_butterfly3

 

Nice to be noticed!


Overview of Wildlife Tourism workshop, Darwin 2013

Overview of Wildlife Tourism workshop, Darwin 2013

Coming soon!

Wildlife Tourism workshop

Wildlife Tourism workshop

networking cruise with Sea Darwin

networking cruise with Sea Darwin

Injalak Hill, field trip to Arnhem Land

Injalak Hill, field trip to Arnhem Land

 

Waterbirds Kakadu

Waterbirds on post-workshop field trip to Kakadu


Events Calendar

We apologise that our events calendar is not live at the moment, however we are working on creating a new calendar that will be available shortly.

If you have any events, workshops, or special occasions you would like us to put on to our calendar, please email our webmaster.

webmaster@wildlifetourismaustralia.org.au

 


Mandurah Cruises are grinning from winning!

One of our members from WA has just taken out the top local honour at the Alcoa Peel Business Awards!

mandurah-cruises

Pictured are Rod and Cheryl Bishop, owners of Mandurah Cruises.

Kev Mahney from Mandurah Cruises who is also our Treasurer, said they won two awards on the same night!

First win was the Peel Tourism Award and then the Alcoa Peel Business Award!

Congratulations Mandurah Cruises!


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.

http://worldparkscongress.org/

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

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

https://plus.google.com/events/cpg5rt10enq3virmtc2nsnh6jag?partnerid=gplp0

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

http://wildlifetourism.org.au/blog/workshop-2013/

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

header-www

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

 

 


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