How does tourist monitoring alter fish behavior in underwater trails?
Data de publicação2014-12-01
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Nature based tourism is becoming more popular because it is perceived as a solution to the conflict between conservation and economic exploitation. Nevertheless, it is known to cause several effects. This paper reports findings whereby monitored tourism avoids triggering adverse effects for social cichlid fish species, Crenicichla lepidota. Measures used included aggression toward territorial intruders and the number of nests built in pristine reference areas for monitored and in non-monitored tourist areas. We observed suppressed aggressive behavior and suppressed nesting only in the non-monitored area. We conclude that by monitoring visits, and using techniques including avoiding stepping on the river bed, reducing the number of visitors, prohibiting fish feeding and protecting riparian vegetation, it is possible to avoid the enduring damage caused by nature tourism. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.