The Intersections Between Lacustrine Wildlife Tourism and Conservation: Scientific and Educational Opportunities in the Brazilian Southern Lakes

  • Rosane Maria LanzerEmail author
  • Rita Gabriela Araujo Carvalho
  • Aline Correa Mazzoni
Part of the Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism book series (GGAG)


Taken as an activity on the rise in the contemporary world, tourism increasingly leans towards natural areas, especially coastal regions. Brazil stands out for its extensive coastline and attractions related to sun and beach. However, the interaction between tourism and these ecosystems is not much debated. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, a unique coastline can be found. This region has the most extensive coastal plain of Brazil, with 37,000 km2 and about 100 freshwater shallow lakes along its coastline. Geological processes, combined with a specific biological system, have conditioned a differentiated landscape in the region, composed of an ecosystem mosaic of sand dunes, restinga forest formations, wetlands and shallow lakes, which harbor their own biodiversity, including human beings that depend on these ecosystems for survival. Such resources are constantly under pressure of human activities, tourism among them, since touristic activities in these environments do not take into account their fragility. As a result, several fauna and flora species are damaged by the pursuit of human leisure, as well as by mismanagement of water resources. Thus, this study aims to discuss the relations between tourism and the freshwater environments, seeking to quantify the lack of knowledge about the species inhabiting these ecosystems, which affects sustainable practices planning. This study shows that, even in the presence of unique landscapes in scenarios of great beauty and frail ecosystems, the rich biodiversity is impacted by urbanization. Human activities affect the lakes environmental quality, harming biodiversity and tourism development in the region. Management models need to undergo changes, through the implementation of environmental education programs and promoting new forms of tourism, like scientific tourism, and wildlife conservation.


Coastal plain Shallow lakes Biodiversity Touristic potential Southern Brazil 



This research was funded by PETROBRAS. The authors would like to thank the whole team of Lagoas Costeiras 3 project, researchers, technicians and students for their support in data survey and field work. We also thank the Teia—Projetos Ambientais Ltda team, for providing the data about vertebrates.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosane Maria Lanzer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rita Gabriela Araujo Carvalho
    • 1
  • Aline Correa Mazzoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Toxicologia e LimnologiaUniversidade de Caxias do SulCaxias do SulBrazil

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