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The Effectiveness of an Established Sanctuary Zone for Reducing Human Disturbance to Australian Sea Lions (Neophoca Cinerea) at Carnac Island, Western Australia

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Abstract:

This study tested the effectiveness of a recently established sanctuary zone on Carnac Island (Western Australia) in reducing human disturbances to Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea). Several methods of recording behaviors were also tested to clarify their adequacy for detecting human disturbances. Observations made between March 2005 and September 2006 (98 observations over 16 days) indicated that a wireless camera was effective for monitoring sea lions unobtrusively, and continuous and instantaneous observations were both generally effective in monitoring levels of human disturbance. The sanctuary zone was ineffective in that sea lions hauled out more often in the adjacent recreational zone, even though the sanctuary was established based on previous observations. This study concluded that sea lions are more likely to haul out where environmental attributes along a beach are suitable. Because environmental conditions are variable over time, a fixed sanctuary zone will only aid in reducing impacts when conditions are suitable in that zone. The authors recommend that future sanctuaries should include entire stretches of useable beach to be effective.

Keywords: AUSTRALIAN SEA LION; OBSERVATION METHODS; SANCTUARY ZONE; WESTERN AUSTRALIA; WILDLIFE TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427308785855297

Publication date: September 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Tourism in Marine Environments is an interdisciplinary journal dealing with a variety of management issues in marine settings. It is a scientific journal that draws upon the expertise of academics and practitioners from various disciplines related to the marine environment, including tourism, marine science, geography, social sciences, psychology, environmental studies, economics, marketing, and many more.
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