The manual “Non-consumptive use of wolf in tourism: guidelines for responsible practices” by LIFE WolfAlps EU is now on-line
It is now available online on our website, in the Download section, the “Non-consumptive use of wolves in tourism: Guidelines for responsible practices”, in the English, Italian and Slovenian versions.The manual was produced as part of the LIFE WolfAlps EU project and was proofread, revised and approved by the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (LCIE),specialist group of the International Union for Nature Conservation that deals with large European predators.
The wolf is certainly an animal that arouses controversial emotions. While it is undeniable that its presence brings social conflicts, it is also true that the species exerts a strong fascination, linked to aesthetic and above all cultural aspects. Exploiting the wolf’s attractiveness to transform it into an ecotourism resource for the territories where it lives is one of the objectives that the LWA EU project pursues with action C7. Wolf-related tourism can in fact become a source of income and employment, as shown for example by the experience of Yellowstone, where a study estimates that visitors spend more than USD 35 million a year on wolf watching.
Ecotourism is not synonymous with holidays in nature, but with an ethical, educational and ecologically and socio-culturally sustainable enjoyment of the natural environment. Therefore, to truly define an activity as ecotourism, it is necessary to find a balance that allows the visitor to have an exciting experience, while minimising disturbance to wildlife and providing a real benefit to local communities.
The purpose of the guidelines is precisely to give indications for responsible tourism practices that minimise the impact on wolves and wildlife in general. The handbook reviews all possible methods, from tracking to simulated howling to direct observation, and for each one suggests the best times and ways to develop the activity.
The manual is aimed at guides and all those who want to hike in nature in a respectful manner, contributing to the preservation of biodiversity.