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Testing ecotourism principles in Nicaragua

the cases of the nature reserves Mombacho Volcano and Datanlí–El Diablo

Somarriba-Chang, Matilde (2010). Testing ecotourism principles in Nicaragua. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2010:37
ISBN 978-91-576-7450-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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The purpose of this study is to determine if ecotourism principles are being applied in Nicaragua. The cases studied were the Nature Reserves Mombacho Volcano (NRMV) and Datanlí–El Diablo (NRDE). The research questions addressed were the following: 1. Are the tourism activities contributing to conserving the protected areas and their biodiversity? 2. Is ecotourism promoting awareness in visitors and local people? 3. Are the local communities benefiting from these activities and, if so, how relevant is their participation? Changes in plant cover, plant species, and medium and large-size mammals were studied along walking trails to determine if tourists had impacted richness, abundance and diversity of these parameters. Data relating to vegetation cover and composition were collected at sites along the trails and comparative pristine (undisturbed) locations in the NRMV in 2005 and 2007. For the large and medium-sized mammals a total of 48 censuses were carried out, 24 at each site. Two methods were used: fixed wide transects and the camera tracker trap technique. A method for determining the recreational carrying capacity (RCC) of hiking trails in protected areas was tested. To collect the social information individual structured and semi-structured interviews and focus groups were used. The objective of using different tools was to avoid bias by combining quantitative and qualitative interview techniques The results indicate that there is a significant reduction of vegetation cover along the trails, mostly in a band adjacent to the trails. For tree species richness there were no significant differences between the control and trail-sides, whereas for the understorey species there were significant differences between these comparisons. This indicates an ecological impact on the understorey species composition and richness due to trail use. In the case of large and medium-sized mammals only a pilot study was completed. It indicates that there are no statistically significant differences between hiking trails within a nature reserve. However, the ordination analyses indicate a difference in the species composition between hiking trails in the most visited reserve. The results of the Social Carrying Capacity (SCC) indicate that the main constraints for all trails were the spatial and accessibility limiting factors. In broad terms the RCC methodology is a tool for determination of the required physical conditions and management capacities for tourist management. This study demonstrates that the farmers in the two nature reserve communities are engaged in the protection of the reserves because they are aware of environmental concerns and recognize that their own welfare can be affected.

Authors/Creators:Somarriba-Chang, Matilde
Title:Testing ecotourism principles in Nicaragua
Subtitle:the cases of the nature reserves Mombacho Volcano and Datanlí–El Diablo
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2010
Number of Pages:87
ALLI. Somarriba-Chang, M. (2010). Vegetation cover and diversity changes due to the use of walking trails in the nature reserve Mombacho Volcano, Nicaragua. Submitted. II. Somarriba-Chang, M., Wallentinus, H-G. and Garmendia, M. (2010). Tracking mammal species along hiking trails in two nature reserves in Nicaragua – a pilot study. Submitted. III. Somarriba-Chang, M. and Gunnarsdotter, Y. (2010). Are the social principles of ecotourism applicable in two Nature Reserves in Nicaragua? Submitted. IV. Somarriba-Chang, M. and Wallentinus, H-G. (Year). Recreational Carrying Capacity in hiking trails. Three case studies in Protected Areas in Nicaragua. Manuscript.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7450-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agrovoc terms:nature reserves, tourism, environmental impact, biodiversity, vegetation, mammals, farmer participation, community involvement, case studies, sustainability, nicaragua
Keywords:ecotourism principles, plant species diversity, large and medium-size mammals, stakeholder participation, local communities, recreational carrying capacity, nature reserves Mombacho Volcano and Datanlí–El Diablo.
Permanent URL:
ID Code:2265
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: Matilde Somarriba-Chang
Deposited On:16 Apr 2010 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:17

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