Are feral pigs (Sus scrofa) a pest to rainforest tourism?

Kana Koichi, Alison Cottrell, Kamaljit K. Sangha, Iain J. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Invasive alien species potentially pose a threat to the sustainability of ecotourism by degrading the quality of the environment on which the industry depends. However, little research has investigated such implications. In this paper, we offer a case study on the impacts of feral pigs (Sus scrofa), a major environmental pest in Australia, on rainforest-based ecotourism in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) of North Queensland, Australia. Our study found that feral pigs seem to have negligible implications for tourists' rainforest experience owing to their lack of prior knowledge about the existence of these animals within the WTWHA and rare sighting and acknowledgement of the damage caused by them. Nonetheless, values that tourists ascribed to the WTWHA rainforest were negatively affected once they acknowledged the existence of feral pigs. We propose that effective provision of environmental education as part of ecotourism experience can result in the management of both sustainable ecotourism and the invasive species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-148
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Ecotourism
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

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