A review of the impacts of nature based recreation on birds
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Nature based recreation such as wildlife viewing, hiking, running, cycling, canoeing, horse riding and dog walking can have negative environmental effects. A review of the recreation ecology literature published in English language academic journals identified 69 papers from 1978 to 2010 that examined the effect of these activities on birds. Sixty-one of the papers (88%) found negative impacts, including changes in bird physiology (all 11 papers), immediate behaviour (37 out of 41 papers), as well as changes in abundance (28 out of 33 papers) and reproductive success (28 out of 33 papers). Previous studies are concentrated in a few countries (United States, England, Argentina and New Zealand), mostly in cool temperate or temperate climatic zones, often in shoreline or wetland habitats, and mostly on insectivore, carnivore and crustaceovore/molluscivore foraging guilds. There is limited research in some regions with both high bird diversity and nature based recreation such as mainland Australia, Central America, Asia, and Africa, and for popular activities such as mountain bike riding and horse riding. It is clear, however, that nonmotorised nature based recreation has negative impacts on a diversity of birds from a range of habitats in different climatic zones and regions of the world.
Journal of Environmental Management
Impacts of Tourism