Forest visitor perceptions of recreational impacts on amphibian wildlife View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2015-05-06

AUTHORS

Jonas Levêque, Mariella Marzano, Alice Broome, Tom Connolly, Norman Dandy

ABSTRACT

Recreational activities have become a major use of forests but have also been widely cast as having a negative impact on wildlife and related nature conservation. Natural science analyses dominate the study of the relationship between recreation and wildlife, and yet, there are also critical social scientific dimensions. These include understanding the beliefs that recreationists hold regarding how their activities impact on wild species and their habitats. These beliefs are important because individual understandings of the consequences of behaviours are closely related to how they behave in practice. This paper presents a study of the perceptions of forest visitors concerning recreational impacts on amphibians, such as the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus). Amphibians have been neglected in the recreational disturbance literature despite posing some of the most substantial conservation challenges. In this study, data generated by a face-to-face survey of visitors at two forest sites in Scotland reveals that nearly half of recreationists surveyed did not believe that their activities had much impact on amphibians but pointed to other activities as being responsible for any potential issues. Recreationists who visit forests the most felt that they had the least impact. Despite this, management methods to reduce recreational disturbance are broadly supported. Respondents also indicated that they favoured forms of communication such as codes of conduct and educational programmes, as ways to raise awareness and learn about this issue. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of our results for forest managers who may wish to engage visitors and minimise the disturbance of wildlife. More... »

PAGES

505-515

References to SciGraph publications

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s10344-015-0920-x

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10344-015-0920-x

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1042051509


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