Wildlife Tourism and Environmental Impacts
Inasmuch as wildlife tourism provides opportunities for wildlife protection, it also creates negative impacts on the environment. This paper shall discuss wildlife tourism and its environmental impacts. It shall review various research materials on wildlife tourism, summarising the main issues on this topic and the general impacts on related activities which pertain to wildlife tourism.The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 2006) discusses that wildlife tourism is related to wildlife watch, mostly those of large mammals or flocks of birds. however, all types of animals are also included in this type of tourism. Wildlife watching is set apart from hunting and fishing and is confined to observations on animals. interactions in some cases are also seen, including the touching and feeding of these animals (UNEP, 2006). Wildlife tourism has grown significantly in recent years and it has evolved in its features to include other optional activities which tourists can choose to include in their package (UNEP, 2006). In some instances, wildlife tourism also includes hunting or fishing and in some instances viewing animals in zoos and confined parks (UNEP, 2006). This paper shall include both wildlife watching and wildlife tourism (with hunting and fishing) and the term wildlife tourism shall include wildlife watching.In the study by Roe, Leader-Williams, and Dalal-Clayton (1997), the authors discuss that wildlife tourism is usually associated with wildlife management and economic enterprises which support conservation, most especially in developing nations. The proliferation of other forms of tourism has occurred alongside the increased recognition of the need to secure sustainable development and ecotourism has been considered as a stable means of implementing sustainability (Roe, et.al., 1997).