Behavioural changes in African elephants in response to wildlife tourism

Show simple item record Szott, Isabelle D. Pretorius, Yolanda Koyama, Nicola F. 2019-12-09T06:59:29Z 2019-07
dc.description.abstract Eco‐tourism and human–wildlife interaction can lead to increases in stress, vigilance and aggression in many species, however, studies investigating wildlife viewing are scarce. We present the first study investigating the impact of wildlife tourism on African elephant, Loxodonta africana, behaviour. Over 15 months, we studied the effect of monthly tourist pressure (tourist numbers) on the occurrence of stress‐related, vigilance and conspecific‐directed aggressive behaviour in 26 individually identified elephants and the effect of up to three vehicles on the direction of travel of non‐identified herds using 5‐min continuous focal observations. We analysed the effect of tourist pressure and vehicle presence using generalized linear mixed models, including habitat type, herd type and size and season, as well as sex and age for behaviour models, as additional factors. We found no effect of factors on stress‐related behaviour, but elephants were more likely to perform vigilance behaviours at waterholes compared to other habitat types. As tourist pressure increased, conspecific‐directed aggression in elephants increased and male elephants were more likely to perform conspecific‐directed aggression compared to female elephants. Furthermore, we found that elephant herds became increasingly likely to move away with increasing numbers of vehicles present. Results suggest that reserves should monitor elephant behaviour to identify when tourist pressure has potential effects on elephant welfare and train guides to monitor behaviour and adjust minimum distances flexibly to ensure high welfare standards and tourist safety. This study further contributes to a small but growing body of literature on non‐consumptive wildlife tourism impacts on wild animals. en_ZA
dc.description.department Centre for Wildlife Management en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2020-07-01
dc.description.librarian hj2019 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The AESOP (A European and South African Partnership on Heritage and Past) Erasmus Mundus Programme Mobility Scholarship and the Liverpool John Moores University Matched Funding Scholarship. en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Szott, I.D., Pretorius, Y. & Koyama, N.F. 2019, 'Behavioural changes in African elephants in response to wildlife tourism', Journal of Zoology, vol. 308, no. 1, pp. 164-174. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0952-8369 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1469-7998 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1111/jzo.12661
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Wiley en_ZA
dc.rights © 2019 The Zoological Society of London. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article : 'Behavioural changes in African elephants in response to wildlife tourism', Journal of Zoology, vol. 308, no. 1, pp. 164-174, 2019, doi : 10.1111/jzo.12661. The definite version is available at : en_ZA
dc.subject African elephant (Loxodonta africana) en_ZA
dc.subject Disturbance en_ZA
dc.subject Eco-tourism en_ZA
dc.subject Conservation en_ZA
dc.subject Stress en_ZA
dc.subject Animal welfare en_ZA
dc.subject Game drive en_ZA
dc.subject Wildlife viewing en_ZA
dc.subject Age en_ZA
dc.subject Impacts en_ZA
dc.subject Corridors en_ZA
dc.subject Population en_ZA
dc.subject Translocation en_ZA
dc.subject Musth en_ZA
dc.subject Vigilance en_ZA
dc.title Behavioural changes in African elephants in response to wildlife tourism en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA

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