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An evaluation of local, national and international perceptions of benefits and threats to nature in Tierra del Fuego National Park (Patagonia, Argentina)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 August 2019

Aaron Mrotek
Affiliation:
PRESS Project, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5694, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
Christopher B Anderson*
Affiliation:
PRESS Project, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5694, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Houssay 200, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina9410 Instituto de Ciencias Polares, Ambiente & Recursos Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego (UNTDF), Fuegia Basket 251, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina9410
Alejandro EJ Valenzuela
Affiliation:
PRESS Project, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5694, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA Instituto de Ciencias Polares, Ambiente & Recursos Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego (UNTDF), Fuegia Basket 251, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina9410 Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas & Técnicas (CONICET), Fuegia Basket 251, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina9410
Leah Manak
Affiliation:
PRESS Project, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5694, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
Alana Weber
Affiliation:
PRESS Project, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5694, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
Peter Van Aert
Affiliation:
Instituto de Cultura, Sociedad & Estado, Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego (UNTDF), Fuegia Basket 251, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina9410
Mariano Malizia
Affiliation:
Instituto de Cultura, Sociedad & Estado, Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego (UNTDF), Fuegia Basket 251, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina9410
Erik A Nielsen
Affiliation:
PRESS Project, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5694, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
*
Author for correspondence: Dr Christopher B Anderson, Email: canderson@alumni.unc.edu

Summary

Environmental scientists and managers increasingly recognize that socio-cultural evaluations expand the understanding of human–nature relationships. Here, user groups’ perceptions of the benefits from and threats to nature were analysed in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina. We hypothesized that the different relationships of users to this place would lead to significantly different valuations among local Ushuaia residents (n = 122), Argentine nationals (n = 147) and international tourists (n = 294). All users perceived a broad spectrum of benefits. The three groups assessed intrinsic and relational values more highly than instrumental benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean valuation of benefits by Argentine visitors. Overall, threats were less perceived than benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean threat assessment by Ushuaia residents. To explain these relationships, we found that mean valuations of benefits and threats were weakly related to increased biodiversity knowledge for residents and international tourists, but not for Argentine visitors. These findings can orient environmental management in Patagonia and elsewhere by identifying areas where information can improve user experiences and by contributing a more pluralistic understanding of nature from multiple stakeholders.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
© Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2019 

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