Trends in ecology & evolution | 18 Oct 2015
B Geffroy, DS Samia, E Bessa and DT Blumstein
Tourism can be deleterious for wildlife because it triggers behavioral changes in individuals with cascading effects on populations and communities. Among these behavioral changes, animals around humans often reduce their fearfulness and antipredator responses towards humans. A straightforward prediction is that habituation to humans associated with tourism would negatively influence reaction to predators. This could happen indirectly, where human presence decreases the number of natural predators and thus prey become less wary, or directly, where human-habituated individuals become bolder and thus more vulnerable to predation. Building on ideas from the study of traits associated with domestication and urbanization, we develop a framework to understand how behavioral changes associated with nature-based tourism can impact individual fitness, and thus the demographic trajectory of a population.
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