Human-wildlife interaction guidelines in Western Australia
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Human interactions with wildlife occur across a wide variety of contexts and oftenform the central component of nature based tourism operations. There is the potential for significant impacts on both humans and wildlife as a result of these interactive experiences. Protected area managers require guidelines in order to effectively manage these interactions. The complexity of human-wildlife interactions creates challengesin terms of defining adequate guidelines to minimise risk. This paper uses a review of the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) human-wildlife interaction guidelines to highlight key issues influencing the clarity andapplication of human-wildlife interaction guidelines. It was found that effectively managing interactions between humans and wildlife depend on: the specific context, location and the type of interaction; the number of people and wildlife individuals involve, positive relationships between operators and wildlife managers among otherissues. This presents a challenge in formulating consistent guidelines for large geographical areas with many types of wildlife interaction. A series of recommendationsare made in relation to approaching this issue.
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