Skip to main content

Tourism adversely affects animal survival

When we consider protecting animals in the wild from humans, we tend to think of hunting or deforestation and the consequences of over-exploitation for food and housing.  Or we think of the effects of our infrastructure such as railways, roads, airports, carving great chunks out of the landscape and destroying precious habitats.  These all have devastating effects on wildlife. 
While the effects of human activity on populations of animals is well established, disturbance by tourism is also increasingly being identified as affecting the behaviour and reproductive success of animals in the wild and can have significant impacts on their survival.   
In a new study published in the journal Ethology, researchers examined the impact of human encroachment on two adjacent giraffe populations in Kenya to determine whether human activities and high predation affect their social networks.

One study site was a premier tourist destination with a high volume of human activity in the form of tourist traffic and lodges, alongside a high density of lions that preferentially prey on giraffe calves. The other was a private wildlife conservancy with minimal human activity and no lion population.
"If disturbance by humans affects the ability of animals to survive and reproduce, then this potentially puts the future survival of species at risk."

Giraffes at both sites showed preferences to associate with and avoid specific individuals, but the social bonds between individuals were stronger and more exclusive in the population exposed to high levels of human activity and lions. It was also more fragmented than the group with low disturbance.
Lead author of the study, Zoe Muller, of the University of Bristol, in the UK, says:

“Wildlife populations are increasingly becoming restricted to enclosed conservation areas, and economic activities supporting conservation—or tourism—are increasing exponentially, yet there has been little consideration for how such an increase in human-related activity might affect the populations of animals they are working to protect.”  
“If disturbance by humans affects the ability of animals to survive and reproduce, then this potentially puts the future survival of species at risk.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Prioritising people in nursing care.

There has been in recent years concern that care in the NHS has not been sufficiently 'patient centred', or responsive to the needs of the patient on a case basis. It has been felt in care that it as been the patient who has had to adapt to the regime of care, rather than the other way around. Putting patients at the centre of care means being responsive to their needs and supporting them through the process of health care delivery.  Patients should not become identikit sausages in a production line. The nurses body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has responded to this challenge with a revised code of practice reflection get changes in health and social care since the previous code was published in 2008. The Code describes the professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. Four themes describe what nurses and midwives are expected to do: prioritise people practise effectively preserve safety, and promote professionalism and trust. The

The internet trails of Ants

Ants share, and they are built to do just that.  They walk and talk to cooperate in all they do.  Ants have two stomachs, with the second one set aside for storing food to be shared with other ants.  Ants get pretty intimate when meeting each other.  The ants kiss, but this kiss isn't any ordinary kind of kiss. Instead, they regurgitate food and exchange it with one another.  By sharing saliva and food,  ants communicate.  Each ant colony has a unique smell, so members recognize each other and sniff out intruders. In addition, all ants can produce pheromones, which are scent chemicals used for communication and to make trails. Ants are problem solvers.  We may recall the problems puzzles we were given as children. We look to see if the pieces will fit.  Jiz saw puzzles are much the same but with many contextual factors. First, the picture tells a story. Then, once we know what the image might be, it becomes easier to see which pieces to look for.  Ants lay down trails. Just as we f

The Thin End account of COVID Lockdown