CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Relationship between wildlife and tourism - interdisciplinary insights from Arctic fox tourism in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. (Svenska fjällrävsprojektet)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6534-3819
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Interactions between wildlife and tourism can be studied from several different perspectives and the effects of such interactions can influence animals both positively and negatively with effects on both individual and population levels. This thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining both natural and social perspectives, when studying the effects of tourism activity on a small population of the endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). We have studied arctic foxes inhabiting disturbed and undisturbed den sites in Helagsfjällen, which is the southernmost population of arctic foxes in Sweden and a popular area for recreational activities such as hiking, skiing and camping. The overall objective of the thesis has been to contribute to good management of both arctic foxes and tourism within the study area, as well as to contribute with a comprehensive study of simultaneous disturbance effects and fitness consequences of wildlife tourism activities to the scientific field of wildlife-tourism interactions. The first two papers focus on different aspects of behavioral responses of arctic foxes towards human activity, the third paper evaluates potential fitness consequences and the fourth paper focus on the tourist aspect of the interaction. Behavioral changes in response to tourism disturbance that have been identified in the foxes include changes in vigilance and probability of hiding (Paper I), temporal activity shift at the den site (Paper II) and increased tolerance to human activity (Paper I, Paper II). Juvenile summer survival was higher at disturbed dens compared with undisturbed dens during years of declining small rodent densities (Paper III). Small rodent decline years is when the predation on arctic foxes is presumed to be highest and we suggest that the positive fitness effect could be mediated by a human-induced predator refuge for the foxes in close proximity of human activity. On the tourist aspect, we have identified effects on behavior, knowledge and awareness of the situation for arctic foxes and related conservation work (Paper IV). Overall, results in this thesis showed a high level of context-dependency, which highlights the importance of considering factors such as food availability, intra-species interactions and individual traits such as previous experience with humans. Consequently, the work in this thesis together with ongoing studies of hormonal stress responses constitutes one of the more comprehensive scientific studies of tourism effects on terrestrial mammals. The output from this thesis brings important deliverables for species-specific management and conservation, but also for other species given the rapidly growing interest for wildlife tourism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University , 2024. , p. 24
Keywords [en]
wildlife tourism, human disturbance, human-wildlife interaction, conservation, predation, arctic fox
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227484ISBN: 978-91-8014-721-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-8014-722-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-227484DiVA, id: diva2:1844742
Public defence
2024-05-02, Vivi Täckholmssalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-09 Created: 2024-03-14 Last updated: 2024-03-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Arctic Fox Responses to Tourism Activity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Arctic Fox Responses to Tourism Activity
2020 (English)In: Journal of Wildlife Management, ISSN 0022-541X, E-ISSN 1937-2817, Vol. 84, no 4, p. 821-828Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As the interest for nature-based tourism activities increases, it is important to provide evidence-based guidelines for wildlife-human interactions to minimize the disturbance caused to wildlife. In Fennoscandia, the endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is subject to increasing tourism interest and some regions recommend a minimum approach distance of 300 m, but the guidelines have not been scientifically validated. We conducted experimental human approaches towards arctic fox den sites to study activity and behavioral changes in response to the approaching observer. The first arctic foxes hid when approached within 300 m, but many had increased their vigilance already at the start distance of 500 m. At approximately 200 m, the hiding probability increased rapidly at dens disturbed and undisturbed by tourism activities. Arctic foxes at disturbed dens allowed the observer to approach more closely before they increased their vigilance and before they hid compared to foxes at undisturbed dens. We confirm that a minimum distance of 300 m might be sufficient for most arctic foxes to refrain from hiding, but a longer distance would be required to avoid causing any disturbance. We recommend a minimum approach distance of >= 300 m to be implemented in all Fennoscandian regions inhabited by the arctic fox.

Keywords
arctic fox, human disturbance, human-wildlife interaction, minimum approach distance, nature-based tourism, wildlife tourism
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179523 (URN)10.1002/jwmg.21827 (DOI)000510757500001 ()
Available from: 2020-03-09 Created: 2020-03-09 Last updated: 2024-03-14Bibliographically approved
2. Temporal activity shift in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in response to human disturbance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporal activity shift in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in response to human disturbance
2021 (English)In: Global Ecology and Conservation, ISSN 2351-9894, Vol. 27, article id e01602Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The rapidly growing interest for nature-based recreational activities threaten biodiversity values and increases the disturbance caused to wildlife. Several studies have demonstrated spatial and temporal activity shifts of animals in response to human disturbance. However, most studies investigate effects on how animals use an area of high tourism disturbance, such as a tourist resort or hiking trail, and not the effects of human disturbance at a key site for the animal, such as a denning or breeding site. In this study, we use photos from remote camera monitoring of arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) dens with the aim to investigate the effects of various levels of tourism disturbance on the diurnal activity pattern and vigilance of breeding adult arctic foxes at the den site. We find a temporal shift towards a higher daytime activity at the den in response to high intensity tourism (71 +/- 3.9% in disturbed areas compared with 53 +/- 6.2% in undisturbed areas), which stands in contrast to an increased nocturnality seen in studies of many other species, including another study of arctic foxes. We suggest that the difference could be explained by the higher cost of avoiding a key site for the animal, as in this study, compared with avoiding a more general human disturbance in an area within the distribution range of the animal, as in most other studies. Increased time spent avoiding the perceived threat of humans could compromise other important activities and have potential negative effects on e.g. hunting or provisioning for the juveniles. Human disturbance focused at a key site, such as a denning or breeding site, can thereby be expected to have larger consequences than what is observed in most studies of disturbance effects on wildlife. Based on observations of both tourists and arctic foxes during close encounters in an area of high intensity tourism, we also find that they both respond behaviorally to each other. The potential for positive or negative feedback mechanisms in such relationships between tourists and wildlife highlights the importance of considering both sides of the complex interaction to find a balance between preserving biodiversity and ensuring continued possibilities for recreation.

Keywords
Wildlife tourism, Human-wildlife interactions, Recreation, Human disturbance, Mutual relationship, Arctic fox
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-196291 (URN)10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01602 (DOI)000663457500012 ()
Available from: 2021-09-06 Created: 2021-09-06 Last updated: 2024-03-14Bibliographically approved
3. Fitness effects of ecotourism on an endangered carnivore
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fitness effects of ecotourism on an endangered carnivore
2020 (English)In: Animal Conservation, ISSN 1367-9430, E-ISSN 1469-1795, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 386-395Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nature-based recreational and tourism activities can exert significant direct and indirect impacts on wildlife, through behavioral, physiological and distributional changes. Despite many studies demonstrating such changes, few attempts have been made to quantify the fitness consequences and evaluate their biological significance. Helagsfjallen in Sweden is a core area of the endangered Fennoscandian arctic foxVulpes lagopus, and a popular area for recreational tourism. Some dens in the area experience daily disturbance from tourism during the summer season, while others are virtually undisturbed. We used a long-term dataset (2008-2017) of 553 juveniles in 74 litters to investigate summer juvenile survival, which is an important fitness component for the arctic fox. We found that the mean juvenile survival rate increased from 0.56 at undisturbed dens to 0.83 at disturbed den during years of decreasing small-rodent abundance, where predation on the arctic fox is presumed to be highest. We suggest that the increased survival could be mediated by a human activity-induced predator refuge for the arctic foxes in close proximity of trails and mountain huts. Our study demonstrates a possible positive indirect effect of nature-based tourism on wildlife and is one of a few studies attempting to quantify this impact. It highlights the importance of context for how animals are affected by disturbance. We also demonstrate that studying how the effects of tourism activity vary depending on the context could provide opportunities for identifying the mechanisms behind these effects, which can be an important link between scientific research and the management of wildlife and tourism activities.

Keywords
carnivore conservation, ecotourism, fitness, predator refuge, researcher disturbance, tourism disturbance, tourism management, wildlife tourism
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-185426 (URN)10.1111/acv.12548 (DOI)000562996600008 ()
Available from: 2020-10-12 Created: 2020-10-12 Last updated: 2024-03-14Bibliographically approved
4. The role of wildlife tourism in conservation of endangered species: Implications of safari tourism for conservation of the Arctic fox in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of wildlife tourism in conservation of endangered species: Implications of safari tourism for conservation of the Arctic fox in Sweden
Show others...
2018 (English)In: Human Dimensions of Wildlife, ISSN 1087-1209, E-ISSN 1533-158X, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 257-272Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Keywords
Wildlife tourism, tourism impact, conservation, endangered, Arctic fox
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156707 (URN)10.1080/10871209.2017.1414336 (DOI)000431554200005 ()
Available from: 2018-05-28 Created: 2018-05-28 Last updated: 2024-03-14Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Relationship between wildlife and tourism - interdisciplinary insights from Arctic fox tourism in Sweden(1694 kB)52 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1694 kBChecksum SHA-512
edf8b2282cca3b2897e5d944e53042979c49aa25383f51866000c6a9793a52abbfb5248ff94d7f807943c1cba353d03be08c98302a8ffb903217e0aea50dda01
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Authority records

Larm, Malin

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Larm, Malin
By organisation
Department of Zoology
Ecology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 52 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1319 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf