Bodil Elmhagen

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Abstract

The role of wildlife tourism in conservation of endangered species: Implications of safari tourism for conservation of the Arctic fox in Sweden

There are both positive and negative impacts on wildlife associated with wildlife tourism. In Sweden, the endangered Arctic fox is subject to a growing tourist interest. In the Helags mountain region there are guided Arctic fox safari tours that provide visitors with information about the Arctic fox. A survey of five separate groups of visitors in the region revealed that knowledge about the status of Arctic foxes and awareness of the behavioral guidelines for Arctic fox encounters improved after participation in a safari tour and with increasing Arctic fox interaction. We propose a schematic model summarizing the diverse ways in which wildlife tourism affects wildlife and their relative importance for conservation. The Arctic fox population in Sweden is small and sensitive to disturbance, but the positive impacts of Arctic fox tourism seem to compensate for the negative and contribute to their conservation under the current level of tourism pressure.

Reference
Larm M, Elmhagen B, Granquist SM, Brundin E, Angerbjörn A (2018) The role of wildlife tourism in conservation of endangered species: Implications of safari tourism for conservation of the Arctic fox in Sweden. Human Dimensions of Wildlife: In press.

 
 

Arctic fox cub in Sweden