Wildlife Tourism in Reintroduction Projects: Exploring Social and Economic Benefits of Beaver in Local Settings

Highlights

  • Economic benefits are observed from wildlife tourism in a reintroduction project.
  • Scale of benefit is greatest where there is uptake in business initiatives.
  • Reintroduction practitioners should encourage businesses to maximise opportunities.
  • Reintroduction wildlife tourism may intensify tourist-community interactions.
  • Positive emotions resulted from seeing reintroduced species locally.

Abstract

Wildlife reintroduction projects are required to account for social and economic factors. Wildlife tourism is often cited as a benefit of reintroduction, so an understanding of whether and how this manifests is required. Through a case study of a village in the catchment of a live reintroduction project (Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in England) we reveal how reintroduced species tourism has economic benefit for local business, but the scale of benefit is dependent upon business initiatives that take the opportunity (eg merchandise, marketing etc.). We suggest reintroduction practitioners should actively encourage local businesses to maximise opportunities, especially where tourism is cited as a reason to reintroduce. We recommend further research into whether benefits remain in the long-term, but speculate some value will persist. Finally, we recognise reintroduction-related wildlife tourism may interact with other local issues, but seeing a reintroduced species or signs of its activity can produce positive emotional responses.

Read the full article in Journal for Nature Conservation

Eurasian Beaver (River Otter) photo credit Roger Auster
Research article
Published: 20 October 2020
Roger E.Auster
Stewart W.Barr
Richard E.Brazier
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Streatham Campus, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, United Kingdom
Published in:
Journal for Nature Conservation
November 2020
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2020.125920

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