Climate change will increasingly impact species and habitat composition of protected areas, even if precise impacts are difficult to predict, especially in smaller areas. This raises questions for management authorities, not only regarding the ecological integrity of protected areas but also regarding wildlife that ‘escape’ and cause damage. The protected area is traditionally the primary responsibility of the management authority, but the introduction of charismatic and potentially damage-causing wildlife touches on the overlapping and shared commercial interests of the tourism industry and the neighbouring rural communities. As climate change manifests, the complex relationship between these three stakeholders is likely to become strained by the increased frequency of damage caused by wildlife as they attempt to move out of or expand their home ranges beyond the boundaries of the protected area. It is concluded that a laissez-faire approach to climate change by conservation authorities or protected area managers is likely to be problematic – particularly with respect to relationships with neighbouring rural communities. A greater awareness of climate change impacts among all stakeholders is required, including conservation agencies, the tourism industry and neighbouring rural communities and managing escaped wildlife should become a joint responsibility which is founded on a contractual agreement between these stakeholders.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||PARKS - The International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2020|