Many countries try to use ecotourism as a tool for wildlife conservation, hoping that the increased income for local people will make them value wildlife more. But this strategy is not always as successful as conservationists have hoped. This is why we wanted to test a new model: what if the amount of money local people receive depends on how many and what type of animals tourists will see? We tested this approach for four years in a protected area in Laos in Southeast Asia. Our preliminary results were promising: the illegal hunting of animals declined near the ecotourism site, and wildlife sightings by tourists increased.

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Summary of research
Researchers studied the impact of direct payments for locals for tourist wildlife sighting on ecosystem conservation in Laos.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
August 2018

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