Researchers at Land of the Leopard National Park have determined the recreation impact on potential tourist routes. The survey showed how best to develop ecotourism while not damaging the habitat of the Far Eastern leopard.
Experts assessed the distribution of plant species in the national park and made a map of the area's resistance to recreation impact. It was found that the most resilient sites are located in the central and southern parts of the protected area.
"Now we even better understand the natural features of our land and will take them into account when developing new routes in order to balance tourism development and nature conservation. The scientifically substantiated distribution of recreation impact and regular environmental monitoring of the existing routes allow us not to cross the line and to preserve nature, while being able to show tourists the amazing world the Far Eastern leopard lives in," said Yevgenia Somova, a lab worker and researcher at Land of the Leopard.
According to experts, the carrying capacity of the routes in the park, given the natural ability of the forest to repair itself, is from 10 to 70 people per day. However, competent planning of the eco-trails will allow more tourists to enjoy the routes.