Introduction: Wildlife Tourism Management and Phenomena: A Web of Complex Conceptual, Theoretical and Practical Issues

  • Ismar Borges de LimaEmail author
  • Ronda J. Green
Part of the Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism book series (GGAG)


This introductory chapter highlights the major conceptual and practical issues regarding wildlife tourism worldwide. A series of events have brought concerns that the status and conditions of wild animals in the tourism needs further critical discussion, with current study cases being in the spotlight for analysis. There is a web of complexities permeating the field of wildlife tourism in terms of planning and management, not to mention the ethical issues. The current state of wildlife tourism draws attention to the need of in-depth reflections and insights on the use of animals as attractions as well as the needs and attitudes of tourism personnel and visitors. A change in perception of the natural world on the whole is needed, from a fully utilitarian view to a more compassionate one. The Earth is not home only for humans, so we need to break away from a predominantly anthropocentric view in our society. Indeed, within these epistemological and philosophical frames, ‘ecological’ and ‘conservation’ aspects have been regarded as fundamental for bringing a certain consensus to the equation on a morally acceptable human-nature relation for the 21st Century. This introductory chapter begins by presenting conceptual and disciplinary approaches to environmental social sciences, as well as human and political ecology, pertinent to this volume. It then presents some of the polemic cases involving wildlife and visitors, such as Cecil the lion, the tigers in the Thai Buddhist Temple, and, the killing of gorilla Harambe. The chapter concludes by presenting a summary of each chapter providing unique and original content to making this volume an exciting reading experience to update the readers' knowledge and understanding of the current state of wildlife tourism and issues facing it, as part of the bigger picture of our practical and ethical viewpoints of humans and the rest of nature on our planet.


Wildlife tourism Tourists Environmental ethics Wildlife ecology Human/nature relations Animal welfare 


  1. Actman J (2016) Cecil the lion died one year ago—here’s what’s happened since. Wildlife Watch News. National Geographic (May, 2016). Retrieved from, Accessed on 8 Dec 2016
  2. Altschiller D (2011) Animal-assisted therapy. Health and medical issues today. Greenwood, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. Armstrong P (2011) The gaze of animals. In: Taylor N, Signal T (eds) Theorizing animals: re-thinking humanimal relations. Brill, Leiden & Boston, pp 175–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Archer J (1988) The behavioural biology of aggression. Cambridge University Press, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  5. Bauer J, Giles J (2002) Recreational hunting: an international perspective. Wildlife Tourism Research Report Series n. 13. Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism—CRC, Queensland, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  6. BBC (2016) Thai Tiger Temple’s long history of controversy. Asia section (June 1, 2016). Retrieved from Accessed on 08 Dec 2016
  7. Beatson P (2011) Mapping human animal relations. In: Taylor N, Signal T (eds) Theorizing animals: re-thinking humanimal relations. Brill, Leiden & Boston, pp 21–58Google Scholar
  8. Bertelsmeier C, Bonnaud E, Gregory S, Courchamp F (2012) Applied ecology. In: Hastings A & Gross L (eds), Encyclopedia of theoretical ecology. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  9. Brando S (2016) Wild animals in entertainment. In: Bovenkerk B, Keulartz FWJ (eds) Animal ethics in the age of humans: blurring boundaries in human-animal. Springer, Cham, pp 295–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cambronne A (2013) Deerland: American hunt for ecological balance and the essence of wilderness. Nature. Lyon Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Chandler CK (2012) Animal assisted therapy in counseling. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Cunningham W, Cunningham M (2005) Environmental Science. McGraw-Hill Education, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Cusack O (1988) Pets and mental health. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. de Lima IB (2009) Utilitarian and abstract rhetorics in ecotourism and social constructionism: the power of language. Int J Manag Decis Mak 10(231):2009Google Scholar
  15. Duffy R, Moore L (2011) Global regulations and local practices: the politics and governance of animal welfare in elephant tourism, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(4-5):589–604Google Scholar
  16. EcoWatch (2016) Five times animals have been killed in zoos due to human encounters. Animals (June 3, 2016). Retrieved from Accessed on 08 Dec 2016
  17. Engel TB, Galloway ML, Bull MP (1994) The horse, the handicapped and the riding team in a therapeutic program. A training manual for volunteers. University of Virginia, USAGoogle Scholar
  18. Festa-Bianchet M, Apollonio M (eds) (2003) Animal behaviour and wildlife conservation. General introduction. Island Press, London, pp 3–12Google Scholar
  19. Franklin A (1999) Animals and Modern Cultures: A sociology of human-animal relations in modernity. Sage Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Frost W (ed) (2011) Zoos and tourism: conservation, education, entertainment? Channel View Publications, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  21. Green RJ, Higginbottom K (2001) The Negative Effects of Wildlife Tourism on Wildlife. Wildlife Tourism Research Report Series No. 5, status assessment of wildlife tourism in australia series, CRC for sustainable tourism, Queensland, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  22. Green RJ, Wood P (2015) Australian wildlife and research network. In: Slocum SL, Kline C, Holden A (eds) Scientific tourism: researchers as travellers. Taylor and Francis, New York, pp 164–180Google Scholar
  23. Hastings A, Gross L (eds) (2012) Encyclopedia of theoretical ecology. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  24. Higginbottom K (2004) Wildlife tourism: impacts, management and planning. CRC sustainable tourism & common ground,, Altona, Victoria, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  25. Higginbottom K, Northrope C, Green RJ (2001) The positive effects of wildlife tourism on wildlife. wildlife tourism research report series No. 6, status assessment of wildlife tourism in australia series, CRC for sustainable tourism, Queensland, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  26. Holden A (2016) Environment and tourism. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Hughes M, Carlsen (2008) Human-wildlife interaction guidelines in Western Australia. J Ecotourism 7(2–3):147–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Humphrey SR, Bain JR (1990) Endangered animals of Thailand. Sandhill Crane Press Inc, Gainesville, Florida, USAGoogle Scholar
  29. IISC (2016) Indian Institute of Science. Centre for Ecological Science. National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Biosphere Reserves in India. Retrieved from, Accessed on 08 Dec 2016
  30. Ingold T (1988) Introduction. In: Ingold T (ed) What is an animal? Unwin Hyman, London, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  31. Kemmerer L (2011) Theorizing others. In: Taylor N, Signal T (eds) Theorizing animals: re-thinking humanimal relations. Brill, Leiden & Boston, pp 59–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Khullar DR (2016) Geography: fundamentals of physical geography and physical environment. New Saraswati House, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  33. Knight C, Sullivan M (2016) Gorilla killed after 3-year-old falls into zoo enclosure. Retrieved from, Accessed on 08 Dec 2016
  34. Krichner J (2009) The balance of nature: ecology’s enduring myth. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  35. Kontogeorgopoulos N (2009) Wildlife tourism in semi-captive settings: A case study of elephant camps in Northern Thailand. Current Issues in Tourism 12:429–44Google Scholar
  36. Lair RC (1999) Gone astray: the care and management of the Asian elephant in domesticity. FAO. Forestry Department, Rome, Italy, and Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP). Dharmasam Co, Bangkok, Thailand. Available online. Retrieved from, Accessed on 11 Dec 2016
  37. Lindenmayer D, Burgman MA (2005) Practical conservation biology. Csiro Publishing, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
  38. Markwell K (2015) Animals and tourism: understanding diverse relationships. Channel View Publications, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  39. Melkania NP (1998) Towards an integrated conservation strategy. In: Singh V, Sharma ML (eds) Mountain ecosystems: a scenario of unsustainability. Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi, pp 89–100Google Scholar
  40. Miller JR, Lerner RM, Schiamberg LB, Anderson PM (eds) (2002) Encyclopedia of human ecology A-H. ABC Clio, Santa Barbara, CA, USA & Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  41. Mills DS, Marchant-Forde JN (eds) (2010) The encyclopedia of applied animal behaviour and welfare. CABI, LondonGoogle Scholar
  42. Moran EF (2010) Environmental social science: human—environmental interactions and sustainability. Wiley, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moscardo G, Saltzer R (2005) Understanding tourism wildlife interactions: visitor market analysis. Technical Report. Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism—CRC, Queensland, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  44. Newman JL (2013) Encountering gorillas: a chronicle of discovery, exploitation, understanding and survival. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, LanhamGoogle Scholar
  45. Novelli M, Humavindu MN (2005) Wildlife tourism: wildlife use vs local gain: trophy hunting in Namibia. In: Novelli M (ed) Niche tourism: contemporary issues, trends and cases. Elsevier Buttlerworth-Heinemann, Burlington, pp 171–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pickover M (2005) Animal rights in South Africa. Double Storey, Cape TownGoogle Scholar
  47. Raina AK (2005) Ecology, wildlife and tourism development: principles, practices and strategies. Sarup & Sons, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  48. Ramsey A (2016) What really happened at Thailand’s Tiger Temple? News Features online. Aljazeera. Retrieved from, Accessed on 08 Dec 2016
  49. Reardon M (2012) Shaping Kruger: animal behaviour, ecology and management in Africa’s Premier Game Park. Struick Nature. Random House, Cape TownGoogle Scholar
  50. Reynolds JE, Redfern JM, Shulstad RN (eds) (1974) Readings in natural resource economics. Committee on Soil and Water Conservation of the Agricultural Board. MSS Information Corporation, New York, pp 111–133Google Scholar
  51. Romo R, Sholchet C (2013) Costa Rica to close zoos, release some animals. CNN Online. Regions. Retrieved from, Accessed 12 Dec 2016
  52. Roterman N (2016) Two lions killed to save suicidal young man in Chilean Zoo. Retrieved from, Accessed on 4 Dec 2016
  53. Rowan R, Knowlton N, Baker A, Jara J (1997) Landscape ecology of algal symbionts creates variation in episodes of coral bleaching. Nature 388:265–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Semeniuk AD, Haider W, Cooper A, Rothley KD (2010) A linked model of animal ecology and human behavior for the management of wildlife tourism. Ecol Model 221(2010):2699–2713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shapiro K (2002) The state of human-animal studies: solid, at the margin! Soc Anim 10:330–337Google Scholar
  56. Shapiro K, Copeland MW (2005) Toward a critical theory of animal issues in fiction. Soc Anim 13:343–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Smith M, Duffy R (2003) The ethics of tourism development. Routledge - Taylor & Francis: London and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  58. Spaargaren G (2000) Ecological modernization theory and the changing discourse on environment and modernity. In: Spaargaren G, Mol APJ, Buttel FH (eds) Environment and global modernity. Studies in International Sociology 50. SAGE, New Delhi, India, pp 41–72Google Scholar
  59. Stewart E (2013) No ethical way to keep elephants in captivity. A voice for elephants (May 3, 2013). National Geographic. Retrieved from, Accessed 10 Dec 2016
  60. Stoddart MCJ (2012) Making meaning out of mountains: the political ecology of skiing. UBC Press, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  61. Szarycz G (2011) The representation of animal actors: theorizing performance and performativity in the animal kingdom. In: Taylor N, Signal T (eds) Theorizing animals: re-thinking humanimal relations. Brill, Leiden & Boston, pp 149–174Google Scholar
  62. Taylor AB, Goldsmith ML (eds) (2003) Gorilla biology: a multidisciplinary perspective. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  63. Tribe A (2001) Captive wildlife tourism in Australia. Wildlife Tourism Research Report Series n. 14. Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism—CRC, Queensland, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  64. Tyler T (2009) Introduction; the case of the camel. In: Tyler T, Rossini MS (eds) Animal encounters. Brill, Leiden and BostonGoogle Scholar
  65. Usher MB (ed) (1986) Wildlife conservation evaluation. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  66. UNTWO (2016) World Tourism Organization - UNTWO Highlights 2016 Edition. Available online,, accessed on November 2016
  67. Vaccaro I, Smith EA, Aswani S (2010) Environmental social sciences: methods and research design. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Vidal J (2016) Tiger temple scandal exposes the shadowy billion-dollar Asian trade. The Guardian online (4th June 2016). Online content. Retrieved from, Accessed on 08 Dec 2016
  69. WPSI (2016) Wildlife protection society of India. Tiger Reserves. Sundarbans. Online content. Retrieved from, Accessed on 08 Dec 2016

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and TourismSouthern Cross UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.MultiAmazon lab, Recinatur Intl Foundation, and UNIFESSPARoraima State University, UERRBoa VistaBrazil
  3. 3.Environmental Futures Research InstituteGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia
  4. 4.Wildlife Tourism Australia Inc.RathdowneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations