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The Importance Of Outdoor Recreation On The Environment

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INTRODUCTION There is no doubt that planet Earth is ever-changing. The emergence of new species, extinction of extant species, rise and fall of climate, and much more are completely natural occurrences; however, there is one terrifying force that changes the world much faster than most of its inhabitants can handle: humans. Ever since humans began to populate the Earth, we have been exploiting natural resources and depleting populations, thus harming countless communities and ecosystems. As our population continues to increase, we destroy more and more natural habitats, negatively impacting biological diversity by decreasing the abundance of individuals per species (Hunter 2007). Many studies in the past have looked into how overexploitation of resources, habitat loss due to development, and the release of fossil fuels from production result in the decline of biodiversity (Goulletquer et al. 2014), but one form of human disturbance is often overlooked: recreation. The increasing popularity of outdoor recreation can affect wildlife in numerous ways, usually resulting in the avoidance of disturbed habitat (Coppes et al. 2017).
Many studies have been done observing the impact of human disturbance on flagship species in popular recreational destinations such as forests and oceans. For instance, one study done in the Southern Black Forest revealed that red-deer avoided areas near hiking trails, preferred to live in dense, undisturbed areas in the forest, and were more active
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