New Economic Insights and Case Studies
Chapter 15: Tree-Kangaroos, Tourism and Conservation: A Study of a Little-known Species
15. Tree-kangaroos, tourism and conservation: a study of a littleknown species 15.1 INTRODUCTION Not much literature exists about the use of little-known species in naturebased tourism and its implications for their protection and conservation. Nevertheless, some literature exists on the economic value of nature-based tourism in rural and undeveloped sites (see, for example, Shrestha et al., 2007). It is important to examine carefully the role that expenditure by tourists plays in nature conservation because it is sometimes too readily perceived in the literature that wildlife tourism brings about economic benefits which are able to support wildlife conservation and local communities (The Economist, 2008; Shackley, 1996). While this can and does happen, not all species used for tourism have the potential to attract sufficient tourism dollars to justify landholders setting aside land for their conservation. Furthermore, the economic benefits to the local community can also be small. Therefore, it is important in such cases to take into account their unmarketed economic values (mostly non-use values) as well to measure the use values (see, for example, Tisdell, 2005; Tisdell and Wen, 1997) of these species in order to garner support for their conservation. For some little-known and nocturnal species, non-use values account for the major part of their total economic values and tourism use values constitute only a small fraction of these values. Hence, it is important to examine some of the conservation issues involved, especially for species that are little known. For this study, we select tree-kangaroos as the species that...
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