Are birders good for birds? Bird conservation through tourism management in the Hula Valley, Israel

Noga Collins-Kreiner, Dan Malkinson, Zev Labinger, Roy Shtainvarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between tourists and bird populations visiting the Agamon-Hula Park. Our main hypothesis is that the number of birds and their minimal distance from groups of human visitors are correlated with the number of visitors in the groups. Visitor and bird populations were mapped simultaneously in order to analyze the effect of location on the behavior of different species of birds. Fieldwork was carried out at four observation points throughout the wetlands. 48 field observation days were conducted during 2009. The research demonstrates a cyclical interaction: the number of visitors increases when more birds are present, but as the number of visitors increases, the number of birds decreases and their minimum distance from the visitors increases. The findings allow for a better understanding of the " Limits of Acceptable Change" (LAC) of the Lake, instead of identifying a general measure of " Carrying Capacity" The discussion considers the study's theoretical implications, as well as practical recommendations for future development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Management
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the KKL (The Jewish National Fund) . The authors would like to thank the people at the KKL who sponsored and provided non-stop assistance throughout the project.


  • Agamon-Hula Park
  • Bird-watching
  • Carrying capacity
  • Ecotourism
  • Hula Valley
  • LAC (limits of acceptable change)
  • Risk-disturbance hypothesis
  • Sustainable tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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