Tourism versus Biodiversity? Case of Coral Reefs in Dominican Republic: One of the positive hopes of people interested in wildlife conservation is that humans through tourism will become interested in preserving the wildlife diversity that they travel, in part, to enjoy. However, there is increasing evidence that tourism as related impacts of humans can be harmful. A recent article by Erin Eastwood et al. in Ocean & Coastal Management journal reports that the “Miches area” reefs are suffering from “coral bleaching, disease prevalence” and other evidence of human impacts such as “low abundances of fishery-targeted species, high prevalence of diseased coral, anchor damage at nearly every site, and high abundances of indicator species for nutrient-based pollution such as fertilizers and raw sewage.” The authors report that this area is “on the verge of a tourism boom” with a new highway being completed and its main 4 risks are: “overfishing, land-based pollution, human-related structural damage, and coral bleaching.” To prevent further deterioration, the authors state that the area needs “strong fisheries regulation” and “consistent monitoring.” Perhaps those with financial interests in tourism will realize that it is in their self-interest to undertake these preventive measures but this author’s views of similar developments elsewhere (e.g., Mexico) suggest that the needed steps are not likely to be undertaken. Thus it remains an open question to me whether tourism, even if supposedly “ecological” in nature, is overall harmful or helpful to wildlife protection. It might be argued that without tourism, the areas will be eventually exploited by humans with even less concern for wildlife. We need to study of the true impacts of tourism on wildlife on coral reefs or wherever they exist.
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During my research for the book, I noticed that there was no blog available for sharing informaton on wildlife conservation and thus I set up this blog to accomplish this purpose. Please share any informaticoncerning issues related to wildife policy and politics. I welcome feedback from users concerning this blog and website.