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Wildlife Resources, Habitats and Ecosystems for Visitors’ Experiential Learning: Educative Wildlife Tourism in the Australian Context

  • Ismar Borges de LimaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism book series (GGAG)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter on Australian wildlife and tourism is manifold. It discusses the major existing elements necessary for consolidating an educative wildlife tourism within an experiential learning perspective for the visitors by considering some aspects of Kolb’s theory. The chapter is concerned with ecological and biological resources, and related phenomena, that are relevant for a meaningful environmental interpretation and education; one of the foundations for an educative tourism together with conservation. The chapter begins by presenting the current protected areas in Australia and their relevance as natural settings and habitats for wild animals and tourism. The discussion continues by critically appraising the role of rangers in managing protected areas, natural resources and visitors. The role of rangers and guides in Parks is fundamental for enhancing visitors’ experiences and understanding of natural and cultural settings, landscapes, wildlife, and ecosystems. Rangers also play an important role in promoting visitor education as a way of mitigating possible negative impacts in sensitive natural areas. Yet, the chapter outlines the most popular wild animals by providing a comprehensive description of koalas, kangaroos and Tasmanian devils. The biofacts, physical characteristics, behaviour and pertinent ecological aspects are presented to demonstrate how rich and important wildlife is for tourism, especially for an educative learning tourism that can contribute to connect humans to nature in many ways. The chapter was written based on the outcomes of post-doctoral research qualitatively oriented, based on the pertinent literature, active and observant participation, and on the analysis of websites and documents. Considering a relative paucity of publication on educative wildlife tourism, the chapter seeks to fill some gaps in the literature and to advance the debates on the importance of conservation and protection of wildlife resources within an environmental science perspective.

Keywords

Educative wildlife tourism Wildlife resources Experiential learning Environmental interpretation and education Australia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is part of a broad postdoctoral research project related to ‘environmental and cultural learning in tourism development in parks’ in Australia, and it has received financial support from the Brazilian Higher Education and Research Agency, CAPES, process number 99999.006809/201406, Call: Portaria 36/2013 Estágio Pós-doutoralChamada I 2015 also with Institutional support from the Universidade Estadual de Roraima, UERR, MultiAmazon Lab, in Brazil, & Recinatur Foundation for Science, Nature and Tourism (Chile, Mexico & Ecuador), and the School of Business and Tourism, at Southern Cross University, SCU. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species also contributed to this chapter by permitting the use of biofacts available on its website. My thanks go to all staff—rangers and managers—at David Fleay Wildlife Park for the interviews, clarifications and explanations contributing to data collection, and this is extended to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s rangers in charge of educative sessions. Thanks to prof. Dr. Betty Weiler, Dr. Arianne Reis, prof. Dr. Elizabeth Roberts, and Dr. Silvia Nelson for supporting my research, as well as scholar Jeremy Novak, Dr. Simon Wilde and Dr. Flavio Valente for having a share on their academic experiences and friendship during my stay in Australia. Thanks Dr. Ronda Green for reviewing this chapter and for her editorial contributions.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Cross University (SCU)Gold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Recinatur Foundation and MultiAmazon Lab, UNIFESSPAState University of Roraima (UERR)Boa VistaBrazil

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