Estimating Recreational Carrying Capacity of Gheisary Protected Area in Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari Province
It is now certain that to ensure a long term sustainable development، protected areas، the favored destinations for ecotourism، required a well written planning management. Each destination however has limited capability which is called “carrying capacity” to invite visitors. Physical، real (ecological) and effective (manageable) are different kinds of carrying capacity. The current study presented these varieties of carrying capacities for Gheisary protected area، stretched over 10،000 ha in Cheharmahal- & Bakhtiary province. The physical carrying capacity was measured using an ecotourism-based zoning followed by imposing periodic، pedologic، climatic and vegetative limitations، based on the minimum area needed for each person. Real carrying capacity was then calculated according to the physical carrying capacity. The results showed that the intensive recreation zone with surface of 1،292 ha had the annual physical carrying capacity of 2،079،227 and real carrying capacity of 18،465 people. The values for the extensive recreation zone with surface of 2،378 ha were 2،478،832 and 1،215 respectively. The study has also speculated the embedded management strength and recreation convenience of the area and concluded that effective carrying capacity can only enjoy 10% of the real carrying capacity، which were 1،968 people.
Iranian Journal of Applied Ecology, Volume:2 Issue:5, 2013
51 - 64
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