A Few Thoughts on Ecotourism
The nature has been altered in a negative way by the humanity and its evolution. This is an unquestionable fact. This is what numerous ecological groups are fighting against trying to emphasize how important it is to take care of the surroundings and nature. However, scientists argue that even so-called eco-friendly activities do more harm than good. So, not everything with the word “eco” in front can be referred to the positive ideas concerning environmental issues.
According to the “Trends in Ecology & Evolution”, tight communication between people and nature may trigger the shaggy balance in their predator-prey relationship even in responsible tourism. Approximately eight million people visit the areas under protection each year, which is a huge amount.
What concerns the importance of ecotourism is its referral to business. Actually, it is a positively oriented business, since it helps to find money for the protection of the specific areas and makes people understand the value of nature.
A good example is the UN Project Destination Flyaways that is aimed at preservation of rare bird species and basically, makes new protected stops for the bird species that are rare and declining. The project became self-funded due to the huge numbers of birdwatchers who actually do pay for their hobby.
However, all nature-friendly projects have their dark sides too. Interactions with people often make animals lose their strict life instincts because of close connection with humans. They become bolder and thus more exposed to outdoor hazards. In other words, it’s called habitualization. There are animal species that are more likely to fall under the influence of this phenomenon, squirrels, fish and pigeons. So, animals are at predation risk. On the other side, scientists claim that these dangers can be omitted if foreseen and needed actions are taken. Antarctic tourism is an example when penguins were at risk, but the exposure was successfully prevented.