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Dolphin Tourism: Impact of Vessels on the Behaviour and Acoustics of Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins

Categories: Fauna, Oceania, Pacific, Planet, Transportation
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This report contains background information on the dolphin tourism industry, the impacts of vessel-based encounters on the behaviour and acoustics of wild dolphins, and the management of dolphin-human encounters. The report outlines the methods and results of a study investigating the influence of different types of vessels (motor vessel, yacht and kayak) on the behaviour and acoustics of dolphins in a region with relatively low levels of human activities. The results of this study may be used as a baseline for further research in this field where dolphins have had long-term or more intensive exposure to vessels and other human activities. A discussion comparing the findings of this research to other studies is provided, together with recommendations for improvement of current dolphin-watching guidelines and management regulations in Australia.

By Elizabeth R  Hawkins and Don F Gartside

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The research objective of the present project was to determine the relative impacts of disposal of human wastes on vegetation and soils in Tasmanian vegetation types that occur in areas used for wild country camping, with particular emphasis on the impact of digging, the impact of nutrient accessions, the persistence of  paper products, such as tissues, and the disturbance of burials by native animals.

by Jamie Kirkpatrick and Kerry Bridle

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Off-road driving, horseriding, rock climbing and similar activities can be lucrative for tour operators and important for local recreational groups, but contentious for management of national parks and protected areas, both because of safety and liability and because of potentially high environmental impacts. This report examines management strategies for these activities worldwide and in Australia. Suggestions for best management practice and future research agendas are set.

by Carl Cater, Ralf Buckley, Robert Hales, David Newsome, Catherine Pickering and Amanda Smith

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Detecting Visitor Impacts in and around Aquatic Ecosystems within Protected Areas

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In this study, we sought to evaluate: a) the range of activities undertaken by visitors to aquatic ecosystems and the likely ecological consequences of those activities, and b) the sensitivity and scale of response of existing aquatic indicators. By combining these two evaluations, we collated a list of aquatic indicators that might be responsive to the spatial and temporal disturbances associated with visitor activities in particular, and as such, might show considerable promise in being further developed and implemented in monitoring and assessment programs within protected areas.

by Wade L Hadwen, Angela H Arthington, Paul I Boon

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