Wildlife tourism, its impacts, and what to do about them

The talk

Have you ever wanted to ride an elephant? Or go swimming with a dolphin? Or, perhaps, have your selfie taken with an adult tiger? Have you ever seen a cute video of a slow lorris, or a chimpanzee, and thought about having one as a pet? Increasing numbers of people are consuming wildlife experiences, and in this talk I will examine the impacts  – aside from the possibility of a nasty mauling – of this consumption.

I will also examine the psychology of consumers who participate in wildlife tourism experiences, with a view to identifying the factors that might enable green markets for ethical consumption.

Speaker Bio

I have been a post-doctoral researcher in the Zoology Department since 2004. My early work for WildCRU examined single-species conservation issues, focussing on the restoration ecology of water voles. I designed and ran a replicated water vole reintroduction experiment, the went on to experimentally examine the potential for mitigating the (horrendous) effects of invasive signal crayfish. Latterly I have been studying the conservation and animal welfare implications of consumers’ use of wildlife for tourism and in the exotic pet trade.