, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 1521-1538

Ecotourism for the survival of sea turtles and other wildlife

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This paper discusses generally why humans should bother to conservesea turtles. In doing so, it considers both economic and non-economic reasonsand outlines threats to the existence of sea turtles and ways in which tourismmay either contribute to the conservation or decline of their populations.Turtle-based ecotourism at Mon Repos in southern Queensland is described. As aresult of a survey conducted by the authors, it is shown that turtle-basedecotourism at Mon Repos has positive social (indirect) consequences for theconservation of sea turtles. Furthermore, it is argued that ecotourismoperations at Mon Repos have positive direct impacts on the sustainability ofpopulations of sea turtles. However, using a simple model, it is emphasised thatthis impact is limited because turtles are migratory. A model is also developedto capture the possible relationship between turtle populations and thesustainability of ecotourism dependent on turtle populations, and is extended toother wildlife species. Significant interdependence exists between thesustainability of these two variables. The theory is related toCiriacy-Wantrup's social safe minimum conservation standard forspecies' survival.