The hidden cost of tourism

Detecting Long-term Effects of Tourism Using Behavioral Information

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increasingly, whales and dolphins are the focus of tourism activities in many coastal locations. Although these activities can affect individuals and populations of cetaceans, the biological significance and hence the cost of these impacts are as yet largely unknown. This study assessed the effects of boat interactions on the behavioral budget of two populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tersiops truncatus) living in similar fjords but exposed to different levels of tourism activities. This comparison makes it possible to assess the costs of short-term avoidance strategies and the threshold at which those strategies are no longer effective. The effects of boat interactions were the same in both fjords. The resting state was the most sensitive to interactions; socializing was less sensitive. Short-term displacement was a typical response to boat exposure: dolphins were more likely to travel after an interaction with a vessel. Although the behavioral budgets of these populations were significantly altered during interactions with boats, their overall behavioral budgets were unchanged. Dolphins in Milford Sound actively avoided boat interactions, possibly to maintain their overall behavioral budget unchanged. This active avoidance led to avoidance of the area. Characteristics of dolphin-boat interactions in Milford Sound suggest that the advantages gained by short-term avoidance are lost if, on average, fewer than 68 min elapse between successive interactions with boats. If dolphin-boat interactions were more frequent than this, the dolphins switched to a longer-term response: area avoidance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEcology and Society
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

Keywords

  • bottle-nosed dolphins
  • doubtful sound
  • New-Zealand
  • boats
  • responses
  • bay
  • proportion
  • strategies
  • model

Cite this

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title = "The hidden cost of tourism: Detecting Long-term Effects of Tourism Using Behavioral Information",
abstract = "Increasingly, whales and dolphins are the focus of tourism activities in many coastal locations. Although these activities can affect individuals and populations of cetaceans, the biological significance and hence the cost of these impacts are as yet largely unknown. This study assessed the effects of boat interactions on the behavioral budget of two populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tersiops truncatus) living in similar fjords but exposed to different levels of tourism activities. This comparison makes it possible to assess the costs of short-term avoidance strategies and the threshold at which those strategies are no longer effective. The effects of boat interactions were the same in both fjords. The resting state was the most sensitive to interactions; socializing was less sensitive. Short-term displacement was a typical response to boat exposure: dolphins were more likely to travel after an interaction with a vessel. Although the behavioral budgets of these populations were significantly altered during interactions with boats, their overall behavioral budgets were unchanged. Dolphins in Milford Sound actively avoided boat interactions, possibly to maintain their overall behavioral budget unchanged. This active avoidance led to avoidance of the area. Characteristics of dolphin-boat interactions in Milford Sound suggest that the advantages gained by short-term avoidance are lost if, on average, fewer than 68 min elapse between successive interactions with boats. If dolphin-boat interactions were more frequent than this, the dolphins switched to a longer-term response: area avoidance.",
keywords = "bottle-nosed dolphins, doubtful sound, New-Zealand, boats, responses, bay, proportion, strategies, model",
author = "David Lusseau",
year = "2004",
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language = "English",
volume = "9",
journal = "Ecology and Society",
issn = "1708-3087",
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T1 - The hidden cost of tourism

T2 - Detecting Long-term Effects of Tourism Using Behavioral Information

AU - Lusseau, David

PY - 2004/6

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N2 - Increasingly, whales and dolphins are the focus of tourism activities in many coastal locations. Although these activities can affect individuals and populations of cetaceans, the biological significance and hence the cost of these impacts are as yet largely unknown. This study assessed the effects of boat interactions on the behavioral budget of two populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tersiops truncatus) living in similar fjords but exposed to different levels of tourism activities. This comparison makes it possible to assess the costs of short-term avoidance strategies and the threshold at which those strategies are no longer effective. The effects of boat interactions were the same in both fjords. The resting state was the most sensitive to interactions; socializing was less sensitive. Short-term displacement was a typical response to boat exposure: dolphins were more likely to travel after an interaction with a vessel. Although the behavioral budgets of these populations were significantly altered during interactions with boats, their overall behavioral budgets were unchanged. Dolphins in Milford Sound actively avoided boat interactions, possibly to maintain their overall behavioral budget unchanged. This active avoidance led to avoidance of the area. Characteristics of dolphin-boat interactions in Milford Sound suggest that the advantages gained by short-term avoidance are lost if, on average, fewer than 68 min elapse between successive interactions with boats. If dolphin-boat interactions were more frequent than this, the dolphins switched to a longer-term response: area avoidance.

AB - Increasingly, whales and dolphins are the focus of tourism activities in many coastal locations. Although these activities can affect individuals and populations of cetaceans, the biological significance and hence the cost of these impacts are as yet largely unknown. This study assessed the effects of boat interactions on the behavioral budget of two populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tersiops truncatus) living in similar fjords but exposed to different levels of tourism activities. This comparison makes it possible to assess the costs of short-term avoidance strategies and the threshold at which those strategies are no longer effective. The effects of boat interactions were the same in both fjords. The resting state was the most sensitive to interactions; socializing was less sensitive. Short-term displacement was a typical response to boat exposure: dolphins were more likely to travel after an interaction with a vessel. Although the behavioral budgets of these populations were significantly altered during interactions with boats, their overall behavioral budgets were unchanged. Dolphins in Milford Sound actively avoided boat interactions, possibly to maintain their overall behavioral budget unchanged. This active avoidance led to avoidance of the area. Characteristics of dolphin-boat interactions in Milford Sound suggest that the advantages gained by short-term avoidance are lost if, on average, fewer than 68 min elapse between successive interactions with boats. If dolphin-boat interactions were more frequent than this, the dolphins switched to a longer-term response: area avoidance.

KW - bottle-nosed dolphins

KW - doubtful sound

KW - New-Zealand

KW - boats

KW - responses

KW - bay

KW - proportion

KW - strategies

KW - model

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - Ecology and Society

JF - Ecology and Society

SN - 1708-3087

IS - 1

ER -