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Viewing animals in the wild

Dowling, R.K., Newsome, D. and Moore, S.A. (2005) Viewing animals in the wild. In: Wildlife tourism (Aspects of Tourism). Channel View Publications, Clevedon ; Buffalo, pp. 1-40.

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Abstract

Human fascination with animals has been around as long as the two have co-existed on planet earth. Relationships between humans and animals can take many different forms including being a source of food, clothing or shelter; use for scientific and medical research; as sport or entertainment; as a form of companions hip; and/or a point of connection with the natural world. Understanding this relationship with animals is important because it shapes our feelings and actions towards them. This has a direct bearing on our view of animals in and for tourism.

According to Malcom Hunter’s lively short history, the term ‘wildlife’ is less than a century old and was not included in major dictionaries before 1961 in the United States and before 1986 in the United Kingdom (Hunter, 1990). Ominously, its first use was in a book published in 1913 called Our Vanishing Wild Life, which foreshadowed the conservation crisis apparent during the second half of the 20th century. While this work defined wildlife primarily in terms of game species, it also included vertebrate species not regarded as game but perceived as subject to human harvesting or culling. Later definitions of wildlife often emphasise game animals, while others include all non-domesticated vertebrates and, in some cases, invertebrates and plants. This ambiguity creates problems when stakeholders with differing understandings of what is included under the term ‘wildlife’ debate management issues (Hunter, 1990: 4—5).

In this chapter wildlife is taken to mean all non-domesticated vertebrates, in keeping with the scope of recent major monographs (e.g. Berwick & Saharia. 1995: Bolon & Robinson. 2003; Bookhout, 1996). Although invertebrates and plants are excluded, this does not imply that interactions between them and wildlife species are unimportant in the overall well-being of wildlife populations, nor that these groups are unlikely to gain interest in wildlife tourism operations.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Channel View Publications
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/9082
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