Title

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

Date of this Version

1-1-2012

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Burgin, S., & Hardiman, N. (2012). Is the evolving sport of mountain biking compatible with fauna conservation in national parks?, Australian Zoologist, 36 (2), 201- 208.

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2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 060800

© Copyright Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 2012. All rights reserved.

ISSN

0067-2238

Abstract

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.

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This document has been peer reviewed.