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Reducing visitors’ group size increases the number of birds during educational activities: Implications for management of nature-based recreation

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Remacha Sebastián, Carolina and Pérez Tris, Javier and Delgado Sáez, Juan Antonio (2011) Reducing visitors’ group size increases the number of birds during educational activities: Implications for management of nature-based recreation. Journal of Environmental Management, 9 (6). pp. 1564-1568. ISSN 1095-8630

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479711000077



Abstract

Organized tours to watch wildlife are popular recreational and educational activities, in which the visitor expectative (to observe as many and as diverse animals as possible) runs parallel to conservation purposes. However, the presence of visitors may cause negative impacts on wildlife, which makes recreation difficult to manage. Thus, restricting visitor’s load to minimize impacts on fauna may be advisable, but too much restriction may end up disappointing the public. We analysed how visitors’ group size influences the number and variety of birds observed during an educational activity directed to scholars, in a forested area where public access is otherwise restricted.We observed fewer birds, but not fewer species, as the size of scholars’ groups increased. Such effect was apparently mediated by a few species demonstrating reduced tolerance to increased group size. Our results support the idea that reducing the size of visitors’ groups not only helps to minimize the negative impacts on wildlife derived from leisure activities, but also allows visitors to watch more wildlife. Therefore, organizing visitors in small numbers is recommended in the design of activities directed to groups of people visiting natural areas.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Human disturbance, Recreation, Visitors’ group size, Bird assemblages, Nestedness, Environmental education
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Birds
Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:56543
Deposited On:25 Jul 2019 14:56
Last Modified:25 Jul 2019 14:56

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