||Müller, M.; Mayer, M.; Woltering, M.; Job, H.,
||Visitor attitudes towards natural disturbance: the case of the bark beetle in Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany
||Management for Protection and Sustainable Development
||MMV 4 - Proceedings
||MMV4, perception, attitudes, natural disturbance, protected areas, tourism, bark beetles
||Management authorities of protected areas have recently been faced with a considerable rise of natural disturbance such as fire or insect pests in ecosystems. Incorporating visitor experience of natural disturbance into management strategies is a crucial task. The present study uses multivariate statistical analysis to examine visitors’ attitudes towards large-scale bark beetle infestation in the case of Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany. Findings indicate that visitors have a neutral attitude towards the bark beetle and slightly reject controlling the bark beetle in the national park. Expectations of a successful recovery of the affected areas (green-up) and low personal issue salience are the two strongest predictors for support of not controlling the bark beetle. Our findings suggest that it is well possible to position protected areas as refuges where nature is supposed to follow its course without intervention rather than as landscaped representations of cultural ideal types. In order to communicate this idea of wilderness to visitors, park management authorities should design educational measures to raise visitors’ awareness of the ecological mandate of protected areas and of the role of disturbance agents in ecosystems.
||ILEN @ m.sokopp @ 1042
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