Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 521–529 | Cite as

The contemporary conservation reserve visitor phenomenon!

  • David NewsomeEmail author
  • Michael Hughes
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biodiversity appreciation and engagement


Visitors place a complex array of demands on conservation reserves, including provisions for recreation. Rising recreation demand includes a new suite of activities ranging from adventure racing, music events, and motorised activities to extreme sports. Policy implications raise questions anew: what is the fundamental purpose of conservation reserves—nature conservation or recreation or both, and where should the emphasis lie? There is a risk that the current and future emphasis appears to be on increased commercialisation, marketing of conservation reserves as music and/or sporting event venues, places where personal physical challenges can be undertaken alongside a mentality that celebrates human achievement rather than the appreciation of nature! Such a trend may de-emphasise visitor perceptions of conservation reserves as tools for nature conservation. The reported trend in recreational activity requires debate, policy direction and target areas need protected area management effectiveness evaluation to assess conservation implications.


Visitors Conservation reserves Recreational demand Trends Sportification Implications for management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Environmental and Conservation SciencesMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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