Tourist photographs as a scalable framework for wildlife monitoring in protected areas

K. Rafiq, Caleb M. Bryce, Lindsey N. Rich, C. Coco, David Andrew Miller, C. Meloro, Serge A. Wich, John W. McNutt, Matthew W. Hayward

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Abstract

Protected areas are critical to conservation efforts in the face of rapid biodiversity declines [1]. Yet the resources for conservation are often limited and shared amongst many competing priorities [2]. As a consequence, even basic monitoring surveys are absent within most protected areas [3]. Although a range of wildlife monitoring methods exist, considerable focused survey effort is often required to yield accurate and precise estimates [4]. This makes monitoring difficult to sustain or replicate, limiting access to the data required for evidence-based conservation decisions. Citizen-scientists have been proposed as an important complement to the finite resources available for basic monitoring within protected areas [5]; however, the full potential of this approach has yet to be realised. Wildlife tourists and guides are especially focussed on encountering and photographing fauna and flora, yet the data collected in these efforts is rarely harnessed for conservation monitoring within protected areas. A detailed understanding of photographic tourism's potential role in wildlife monitoring has been lacking, but is essential for the development of new tools to harness the data being collected through tourism. Here, we demonstrate that tourist-contributed data can aid wildlife monitoring in protected areas by providing population estimates of large carnivores comparable to those from traditional survey methods. Our approach could capitalize upon the immense number of wildlife photographs being taken daily as part of the global > 30-billion USD, wildlife-based tourism industry. Population monitoring is an important component of wildlife conservation. Rafiq et al. demonstrate that tourist photographs can provide cost-effective, robust measures of wildlife densities that could be used toward species conservation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R681-R682
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume29
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 2019

Fingerprint

tourists
photographs
wildlife
conservation areas
Conservation
Monitoring
monitoring
tourism
Biodiversity
Population
Industry
Costs and Cost Analysis
harness
Surveys and Questionnaires
wildlife management
natural resources conservation
carnivores
complement
flora
fauna

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Rafiq, K., Bryce, C. M., Rich, L. N., Coco, C., Miller, D. A., Meloro, C., ... Hayward, M. W. (2019). Tourist photographs as a scalable framework for wildlife monitoring in protected areas. Current Biology, 29(14), R681-R682. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.05.056
Rafiq, K. ; Bryce, Caleb M. ; Rich, Lindsey N. ; Coco, C. ; Miller, David Andrew ; Meloro, C. ; Wich, Serge A. ; McNutt, John W. ; Hayward, Matthew W. / Tourist photographs as a scalable framework for wildlife monitoring in protected areas. In: Current Biology. 2019 ; Vol. 29, No. 14. pp. R681-R682.
@article{75cb09cff96c4e57acf830ed88b08ece,
title = "Tourist photographs as a scalable framework for wildlife monitoring in protected areas",
abstract = "Protected areas are critical to conservation efforts in the face of rapid biodiversity declines [1]. Yet the resources for conservation are often limited and shared amongst many competing priorities [2]. As a consequence, even basic monitoring surveys are absent within most protected areas [3]. Although a range of wildlife monitoring methods exist, considerable focused survey effort is often required to yield accurate and precise estimates [4]. This makes monitoring difficult to sustain or replicate, limiting access to the data required for evidence-based conservation decisions. Citizen-scientists have been proposed as an important complement to the finite resources available for basic monitoring within protected areas [5]; however, the full potential of this approach has yet to be realised. Wildlife tourists and guides are especially focussed on encountering and photographing fauna and flora, yet the data collected in these efforts is rarely harnessed for conservation monitoring within protected areas. A detailed understanding of photographic tourism's potential role in wildlife monitoring has been lacking, but is essential for the development of new tools to harness the data being collected through tourism. Here, we demonstrate that tourist-contributed data can aid wildlife monitoring in protected areas by providing population estimates of large carnivores comparable to those from traditional survey methods. Our approach could capitalize upon the immense number of wildlife photographs being taken daily as part of the global > 30-billion USD, wildlife-based tourism industry. Population monitoring is an important component of wildlife conservation. Rafiq et al. demonstrate that tourist photographs can provide cost-effective, robust measures of wildlife densities that could be used toward species conservation efforts.",
author = "K. Rafiq and Bryce, {Caleb M.} and Rich, {Lindsey N.} and C. Coco and Miller, {David Andrew} and C. Meloro and Wich, {Serge A.} and McNutt, {John W.} and Hayward, {Matthew W.}",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1016/j.cub.2019.05.056",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "29",
pages = "R681--R682",
journal = "Current Biology",
issn = "0960-9822",
publisher = "Cell Press",
number = "14",

}

Rafiq, K, Bryce, CM, Rich, LN, Coco, C, Miller, DA, Meloro, C, Wich, SA, McNutt, JW & Hayward, MW 2019, 'Tourist photographs as a scalable framework for wildlife monitoring in protected areas', Current Biology, vol. 29, no. 14, pp. R681-R682. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.05.056

Tourist photographs as a scalable framework for wildlife monitoring in protected areas. / Rafiq, K.; Bryce, Caleb M.; Rich, Lindsey N.; Coco, C.; Miller, David Andrew; Meloro, C.; Wich, Serge A.; McNutt, John W.; Hayward, Matthew W.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 29, No. 14, 22.07.2019, p. R681-R682.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tourist photographs as a scalable framework for wildlife monitoring in protected areas

AU - Rafiq, K.

AU - Bryce, Caleb M.

AU - Rich, Lindsey N.

AU - Coco, C.

AU - Miller, David Andrew

AU - Meloro, C.

AU - Wich, Serge A.

AU - McNutt, John W.

AU - Hayward, Matthew W.

PY - 2019/7/22

Y1 - 2019/7/22

N2 - Protected areas are critical to conservation efforts in the face of rapid biodiversity declines [1]. Yet the resources for conservation are often limited and shared amongst many competing priorities [2]. As a consequence, even basic monitoring surveys are absent within most protected areas [3]. Although a range of wildlife monitoring methods exist, considerable focused survey effort is often required to yield accurate and precise estimates [4]. This makes monitoring difficult to sustain or replicate, limiting access to the data required for evidence-based conservation decisions. Citizen-scientists have been proposed as an important complement to the finite resources available for basic monitoring within protected areas [5]; however, the full potential of this approach has yet to be realised. Wildlife tourists and guides are especially focussed on encountering and photographing fauna and flora, yet the data collected in these efforts is rarely harnessed for conservation monitoring within protected areas. A detailed understanding of photographic tourism's potential role in wildlife monitoring has been lacking, but is essential for the development of new tools to harness the data being collected through tourism. Here, we demonstrate that tourist-contributed data can aid wildlife monitoring in protected areas by providing population estimates of large carnivores comparable to those from traditional survey methods. Our approach could capitalize upon the immense number of wildlife photographs being taken daily as part of the global > 30-billion USD, wildlife-based tourism industry. Population monitoring is an important component of wildlife conservation. Rafiq et al. demonstrate that tourist photographs can provide cost-effective, robust measures of wildlife densities that could be used toward species conservation efforts.

AB - Protected areas are critical to conservation efforts in the face of rapid biodiversity declines [1]. Yet the resources for conservation are often limited and shared amongst many competing priorities [2]. As a consequence, even basic monitoring surveys are absent within most protected areas [3]. Although a range of wildlife monitoring methods exist, considerable focused survey effort is often required to yield accurate and precise estimates [4]. This makes monitoring difficult to sustain or replicate, limiting access to the data required for evidence-based conservation decisions. Citizen-scientists have been proposed as an important complement to the finite resources available for basic monitoring within protected areas [5]; however, the full potential of this approach has yet to be realised. Wildlife tourists and guides are especially focussed on encountering and photographing fauna and flora, yet the data collected in these efforts is rarely harnessed for conservation monitoring within protected areas. A detailed understanding of photographic tourism's potential role in wildlife monitoring has been lacking, but is essential for the development of new tools to harness the data being collected through tourism. Here, we demonstrate that tourist-contributed data can aid wildlife monitoring in protected areas by providing population estimates of large carnivores comparable to those from traditional survey methods. Our approach could capitalize upon the immense number of wildlife photographs being taken daily as part of the global > 30-billion USD, wildlife-based tourism industry. Population monitoring is an important component of wildlife conservation. Rafiq et al. demonstrate that tourist photographs can provide cost-effective, robust measures of wildlife densities that could be used toward species conservation efforts.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85069041091&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85069041091&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cub.2019.05.056

DO - 10.1016/j.cub.2019.05.056

M3 - Letter

C2 - 31336082

AN - SCOPUS:85069041091

VL - 29

SP - R681-R682

JO - Current Biology

JF - Current Biology

SN - 0960-9822

IS - 14

ER -