Is the evolving sport of mountain biking compatible with fauna conservation in national parks?

Burgin, Shelley and Hardiman, Nigel (2012) Is the evolving sport of mountain biking compatible with fauna conservation in national parks? Australian Zoologist, 36 (2). pp. 201-208. ISSN 0067-2238

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Historically, most people have tended to visit national parks for ‘rest, relaxation and reinvigoration’, typically resulting in moderate ecological impacts. However, increasingly, recreation in natural areas is including ‘adventure’ sports. One such recreation/sport that now incorporates a range of forms, including adventure derivatives, is mountain biking. In the more extreme forms, riders use extensive trials, often with steep segments and natural or human-made obstacles demonstrate technical skills (e.g., balance, calculated risk-taking, excitement, speed). Appreciation of the natural environment is seldom, if ever, a reason for participation. In this paper we consider the potential for impact on the fauna of national parks. While there is a dearth of information on the impact of mountain biking, we conclude that park management needs to be strategic in their consideration of the issues associated with mountain biking or the outcome will be further degradation of natural areas and, at the least, loss of many animals if not major threats to populations.

Keywords:mountain biking, national parks, fauna management, adventure recreation, adventure sports, tourism impacts, visitor impact management
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N222 Recreation/Leisure Management
N Business and Administrative studies > N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
C Biological Sciences > C150 Environmental Biology
N Business and Administrative studies > N231 Land Management
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:23071
Deposited On:26 Apr 2016 20:23

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