When done well, ecotourism can be a form of sustainable enjoyment of natural areas, providing eco-tourists a unique opportunity to experience wilderness, while helping local communities to be a conservation partner to the government, while also improving their economic status. WCS-India strongly believes that responsible ecotourism can supplement but not substitute the existing means of livelihood. 


Mangalajodi wetland near Chilika Lake, Orissa


Ecotourism is an expanding industry in India, but unfortunately the sector is poorly regulated, especially in natural habitats outside the Protected Areas. An ever-increasing tourist footfall poses an increasing threat to wildlife and ecologically sensitive habitats. Considering the limited physical and ecological capacity of these regions, ecotourism carrying capacity estimation has emerged as an important tool in enabling managers, policymakers and local communities to recognize the ecological limits of ecotourism activities, and sustainably manage these.

Mangalajodi wetland near Chilika Lake, Orissa


Recognizing the potential and importance of effective regulation of ecotourism, WCS-India has initiated studies to assess carrying capacity and design effective ecotourism management plans across protected areas and natural habitats in the country. 

Flamingos at Chilika Lake

Our current work involves the estimation of carrying capacity of Mangalajodi wetland on the northern fringes of Chilika Lake in Odisha, for the ecotourism program involving the local communities. This unique wetland site is an important wintering site in the Central Asian Flyway, receiving thousands of migratory birds every season. 


Program Partners


Photo Copyright: Aditya Singh, P V Seetaram






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