© 2017

Ecotourism’s Promise and Peril

A Biological Evaluation

  • Daniel T. Blumstein
  • Benjamin Geffroy
  • Diogo S. M. Samia
  • Eduardo Bessa


  • Provides a comprehensive summary of the behavioral and ecological impacts of wildlife ecotourism in various contexts

  • Makes science-based evidence on the biological effects of ecotourism accessible to ecotourism managers and practitioners

  • Includes best-practice recommendations on how to reduce negative human impacts

  • Written for a broad audience and illustrated throughout with photographs and helpful infographics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Daniel T. Blumstein, Benjamin Geffroy, Diogo S. M. Samia, Eduardo Bessa
    Pages 1-7
  3. Benjamin Geffroy, Bastien Sadoul, Ursula Ellenberg
    Pages 9-27
  4. Graeme Shannon, Courtney L. Larson, Sarah E. Reed, Kevin R. Crooks, Lisa M. Angeloni
    Pages 29-46
  5. Anders Pape Møller
    Pages 47-58
  6. Eduardo Bessa, Fernanda Silva, José Sabino
    Pages 59-72
  7. Maddalena Bearzi
    Pages 73-96
  8. Zulima Tablado, Marcello D’Amico
    Pages 97-115
  9. Ursula Ellenberg
    Pages 117-132
  10. Daniel Zacarias, Rafael Loyola
    Pages 133-151
  11. Diogo S. M. Samia, Lisa M. Angeloni, Maddalena Bearzi, Eduardo Bessa, Kevin R. Crooks, Marcello D’Amico et al.
    Pages 153-178
  12. Daniel T. Blumstein, Benjamin Geffroy, Diogo S. M. Samia, Eduardo Bessa
    Pages 179-185

About this book


Intended as a guide for wildlife managers and ecotourism operators, as well as interested ecotourists, this book addresses the biological principles governing how ecotourism affects wildlife. The introductory chapters focus on four key responses to human visitation—behavioral, physiological, ecological, and evolutionary.  Readers will discover ecotourism’s effects on biodiversity in connection with various industries that are habitat or taxonomically specific:  fish tourism (including both freshwater and marine), marine mammal tourism, the huge industry centered on terrestrial animals, and the well-studied industry of penguin tourism.

Given that the costs and benefits of ecotourism cannot be meaningfully assessed without understanding the human context, particular attention is given to how ecotourism has been used as part of community development. In closing, the book synthesizes the current state of knowledge regarding best practices for reducing human impacts on wildlife. The final chapter highlights key research questions that must be addressed to provide more evidence-based guidelines and policy.


wildife and human visitation ecotourist ecotourism’s effects on biodiversity marine mammal tourism penguin tourism fish tourism human impacts on wildlife

Editors and affiliations

  • Daniel T. Blumstein
    • 1
  • Benjamin Geffroy
    • 2
  • Diogo S. M. Samia
    • 3
  • Eduardo Bessa
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and The Institute of the Environment and SustainabilityUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Ifremer, UMR MARBEC, Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and ConservationLaboratory of Adaptation and Adaptability of Animals and SystemsPalavas-les-FlotsFrance
  3. 3.Department of EcologyUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Graduate Program in Ecology, and Life and Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of BrasíliaBrasiliaBrazil

About the editors

Daniel T. Blumstein is a Professor at the University of California Los Angeles’ Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. His work involves integrated studies of animal social behavior, animal communication, and antipredator behavior, and has helped develop the field of wildlife conservation behavior. He is the author of over 350 scientific publications and has written or edited six books, including An Ecotourist’s Guide to Khunjerab National Park.

Benjamin Geffroy is a researcher at the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) and holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Ecology and Physiology. After postdoctoral work in Brazil on the effects of ecotourism on fish, he joined Ifremer to explore fish reproduction and behavior. His research deciphers the various physiological and behavioral mechanisms that underlie population changes.

Diogo S. M. Samia holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where he is investigating the evolutionary mechanisms promoting sexual dimorphism in animals. Much of his work has examined antipredator behavior and he has focused on applying knowledge of animal behavior to wildlife conservation.

Eduardo Bessa is a Zoology Professor and an advisor in the University of Brasília’s Graduate Program in Ecology. His research chiefly focuses on two main areas: understanding reproductive behavior in a range of animal models, especially fish; and applying basic behavioral knowledge to conservation and ecotourism.

Bibliographic information


“This book provides a wealth of valuable evidence for regulators, managers and ecotourism companies to use in training and planning … . It also provides ecologist with a good overview of the evidence of our interactions with charismatic animals.” (David Walton, The Bulletin British Ecological Society, Vol. 49 (3), September, 2018)