Researchers: Ecotourism a positive force

Nov. 22, 2011 at 11:17 PM

CUSCO, Peru, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Ecological tourism can protect the biodiversity of areas not officially protected but important to the ecology of the Peruvian Amazon, researchers said.

A study of the Manu Biosphere Reserve by researchers from Spain and the United States, published in the Mammalian Biology journal, explored the debate over the benefits of ecotourism, which has been promoted as a way of protecting the environment without resorting to its economic exploitation.

The four-month assessment of the presence of large mammals in Bonanza -- a private estate used for ecotourism within the Manu Biosphere Reserve -- shows "not only is ecotourism harmless to the biological richness of the area but it could even have a positive effect on the biodiversity of surrounding areas," the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology said Tuesday in a release.

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