16 Jan 2024
This project delineates a comprehensive study focusing on the ramifications of wildlife tourism, particularly turtle tours, on marine ecosystems, emphasizing the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica) in the Mediterranean. Underscoring the endangered status of the regional sea turtle population, the research accentuates threats stemming from unregulated tourism, fishing activities, and coastal development. The study seeks to unravel the repercussions of turtle tours and feeding practices on both species, taking into account their ecological interactions.
Significantly, the decline of Posidonia oceanica, formerly categorized as a species of least concern, raises apprehensions about the well-being of marine ecosystems. The research aims to unveil the extent of damage caused by turtle tours, elucidating the risks faced by sea turtles and the ecosystem. By supplying essential data, the study strives to contribute to conservation planning, prioritize future research, and formulate effective measures for marine environment sustainability. Ultimately, this work addresses the intricate balance between wildlife tourism, conservation, and the protection of endangered species and their habitats in the Mediterranean.
This study presents an opportunity to identify potential threats to the population and devise strategies for managing the negative impacts of wildlife tourism in the future. Identifying these threats enhances our understanding of problems caused by human impact, facilitating the design of better, more feasible solutions and defining precise monitoring parameters. The research also aims to raise awareness among local communities and tour organizers in the region, fostering conservation awareness and sustainability through informative and educational activities. Additionally, the study endeavours to promote greater engagement from local communities, as well as national and international tourists, in efforts to protect these species and their habitats, seeking more effective support from them.
Furthermore, within the project's scope, studies will be conducted to enhance awareness of the species among stakeholders and the public, contributing to conservation measures.