Using tourism to achieve positive conservation outcomes for reintroductions of threatened species
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Narelle King, Karen Higginbottom, 2008. "Using tourism to achieve positive conservation outcomes for reintroductions of threatened species", Too close for comfort: Contentious issues in human-wildlife encounters, Daniel Lunney, Adam Munn, Will Meikle
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Reintroduction programs have been used to help redress serious declines across species' former ranges, but they often suffer from high expense and low success rates. Tourism is one tool that could be used to support such programs. Tourism enterprises based on reintroduced threatened native mammals cover 13% of the total land area in South Africa, compared with less than 0.2% of the total land area in Australia. There may be potential for tourism to be used more frequently to support reintroductions in Australia.
A review of tourism enterprises based on reintroduced threatened native mammals in Australia and South Africa was undertaken, to investigate the contribution of tourism to the conservation conducted by reintroduction programs in Australia and to make recommendations to help increase the involvement of tourism in reintroductions in Australia. The review shows tourism enterprises based on reintroductions in Australia make significant contributions to conservation, but face difficulties with obtaining licences, accessing threatened species, low levels of support from government, excessive competition from other tourism businesses and the death of reintroduced mammals. The paper draws out lessons that Australia can learn from the extensive South African experience to help overcome these problems.