Influence of recreational trails on species diversity of tetrapod vertebrates within the Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka
Keywords:Habitat, Species diversity, Plant Species richness, Tetrapod vertebrates
Horton Plains National Park (HPNP) is one of the world’s best nature reserves and a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of recreational trails on vertebrate fauna in HPNP. Three 100-meter fixed-length line transects were marked along the recreational trails in each habitat to record species richness and abundance. In addition, three 100-meter fixed control transacts were placed 200 meters away from the existing recreational trails in each habitat. There was a significant difference in the amphibian diversity index of control and trail transects in aquatic habitats (P <0.05). The presence of trails had not influenced the reptile species diversity significantly in the cloud forest and aquatic habitats. There was a significant difference in bird diversity between transects in all habitat types (P < 0.05). The mammal species diversity index was not altered significantly in the presence of a trail within all three habitats considered (P > 0.05). The presence of recreational trails within HPNP has negatively affected species diversity. It can be concluded that it is necessary to minimize the number of the recreational trail which are to be constructed for most of the other protected areas of Sri Lanka.
Alwis, R.H.N.S., Perera, P.K.P., Dayawansa, N.P. (2013). Impact of Human Recreational Disturbances on the Distribution of Avifauna in the Sinhararja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka. Paper presented at: Recent Developments in Tropical Forestry and Environment. Proceedings of the 18th International Forestry and Environment Symposium. Thulhiriya, Sri Lanka.
Boyle, S.A., Samson, F.B. (1985). Effects of non-consumptive recreation on wildlife: a review. Wildlife Society Bulletin 13(2):110-116.
Burger, J. (1981). The effect of human activity on birds at a coastal bay. Biological Conservation 2(3):231-241.
Chandrajith, R., Koralegedara, N., Ranawana, K.B., Tobschall, H.J. and Dissanayake, C.B. (2009). Major and trace elements in plants and soils in Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka: an approach to explain forest die back. Environmental geology 57(1):17-28.
De Silva, A. (2007). Amphibians of Sri Lanka: A Photographic Guide to Common Frogs, Toads and Caecilians. Kandy: Privately published.
DWC (2007). Biodiversity Baseline Survey: Horton Plains National Park. Consultancy Services Report. Department of Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Colombo. Pp40.
Farrell, T.A., Marion, J.L. (2001). Trail impacts and trail impact management related to visitation at Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Leisure/Loisir 26 (1-2):31-59.
Hammitt, W.E., Cole, D.N., Monz, C.A. (2015). Wildland recreation: ecology and management. John Wiley & Sons. Pp80.
Hanowski, J.M., Niemi, G.J. (1995). A Comparison of on-and Off-Road Bird Counts: Do You Need to go off Road to Count Birds Accurately? (Una Comparación de Conteos Dentro-de y Fuera-de Caminos:( Hay que Alejarse de los Caminos Para Contar Aves con Exactitud?). Journal of Field Ornithology. Pp. 469-483.
Harrison, J., Worfolk, T. (2011). A field guide to the birds of Sri Lanka. Oxford University press, New York .2nd edition, pp.30.
Herath, H.M.B.C., Sivakumar, M., Steele, P. (1997). A strategy for nature tourism management: Review of the environmental and economic benefits of nature tourism and measures to increase these benefits. Pp.68.
Hostetler, M.E., Main, M.B. (2001). Florida monitoring program: Transect method for surveying birds. Department of Widlife Ecology & Conservation, University of Florida.
Gander, H., Ingold, P. (1997). Reactions of male alpine chamois Rupicapra r. rupicapra to hikers, joggers and mountainbikers. Biological Conservation 79(1):107-109.
Gill, J.A., Sutherland, W.J., Watkinson, A.R. (1996). A method to quantify the effects of human disturbance on animal populations. Journal of applied Ecology. Pp.786-792.
Jayasekara, E.G.D.P., Prabhath, M.C., Mahaulpatha, W.A.D. (2019). Microhabitat Utilisation of Endemic Lizard Calotes nigrilabris in the Grasslands of Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment 9(1): 59-68
Miller, S.G., Knight, R.L., Miller, C.K. (1998). Influence of recreational trails on breeding bird communities. Ecological Applications 8(1):162-169.
Newsome, D. (2013). An ‘ecotourist's recent experience in Sri Lanka. Journal of Ecotourism 12(3):210-220.
Plumptre, A.J. (2000). Monitoring mammal populations with line transect techniques in African forests. Journal of Applied Ecology 37(2):356-368.
Rathnayake, R.M.W. (2015). How does ‘crowding’affect visitor satisfaction at the Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka? Tourism Management Perspectives 16:129-138.
Reijnen, R., Foppen, R., Braak, C.T., Thissen, J. (1995). The effects of car traffic on breeding bird populations in woodland. III. Reduction of density in relation to the proximity of main roads. Journal of Applied ecology 32(1):187-202.
Rödel, M.O., Ernst, R. (2004). Measuring and monitoring amphibian diversity in tropical forests. I. An evaluation of methods with recommendations for standardization. Ecotropica 10(1):1-14.
Senevirathna, H.M.M.C., Perera, P.K.P. (2013). Wildlife viewing preferences of visitors to Sri Lanka’s national parks: Implications for visitor management and sustainable tourism planning. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment 3(2):1-10.
Somaweera, R., Somaweera, N. (2009). Lizards of Sri Lanka: A Color Guide with Field Keys. Frankfurt, Germany: Edition Chimaira.
Stalmaster, M.V., Newman, J.R. (1978). Behavioral responses of wintering bald eagles to human activity. The Journal of Wildlife Management 42(3): 506-513.
Steven, R., Castley, J G. (2013). Tourism as a threat to critically endangered and endangered birds: global patterns and trends in conservation hotspots. Biodiversity Conservation 22(4): 1063– 1082.
Steven, R., Pickering, C., Castley, J.G. (2011). A review of the impacts of nature based recreation on birds. Journal of environmental management 92(10):2287-2294.
Sutherland, W.J., Crockford, N.J. (1993). Factors affecting the feeding distribution of red-breasted geese Branta ruficollis wintering in Romania. Biological Conservation 63(1): 61-65.
Wight, P.A. (1996). North American ecotourists: Market profile and trip characteristics. Journal of Travel Research 34(4):2-10.
Wijeyeratne, G.D.S. (2008). A Photographic Guide to mammals of Sri Lanka. 1st edition. Sri Lanka: New Holland Publishers.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Scientific Reports in Life Sciences
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.