Informal trails and fragmentation effects: A conceptual and research overview
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Trails are important recreation infrastructure in protected areas, but their presence and use can affect the ecology of adjacent corridors. Trail networks fragment highly-valued protected areas already confined by roads and other human development. Unplanned visitor-created informal trails, which commonly exist in many protected areas, further exacerbate ecological and fragmentation effects by expanding the influence into relatively undisturbed habitats. This problem presents an important threat to biodiversity and landscape conservation objectives. Trail impacts have attracted considerable research attention in the past few decades, but only until recently have there been focused research efforts on informal trails and their ecological consequences (Leung et al,. 2011; Wimpey & Marion, 2011). This presentation provides an overview of visitor-created informal trails and past research that has examined their effects on landscape and habitat fragmentation.
Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas: Outdoor Recreation in Change – Current Knowledge and Future Challenges
Impacts of Tourism