Okay, we’re onto the Round of 16 in our brilliant World Cup for Wildlife! There’s no messing around now – one mistake and you’re out! We want to find out who, among the World Cup teams, can call themselves the World Champions of Wildlife Tourism…that means they must be a wonderful place for tourists to go and visit wildlife, without too many ‘problems’ that might put people off. Enough waffle…on with the game!
Next up: Bosnia and Herzegovina v Honduras
Check out the highlights and issues around wildlife tourism in each country below (all information taken from www.RIGHT-tourism.org), then read our Match Report at the bottom to find out the score!
Bosnia and Herzegovina Wildlife – Highlights
Bosnia and Herzegovina might not come first when considering a trip to Europe as many of us still imagine the country war-torn from the ‘90s. However, the country is very mountainous and forests cover over 50% of the country making it an ideal habitat for a variety of animals. The country’s wildlife includes wild boars, wolves, bears, roe deer, wildcats, badgers, foxes, and falcons. Sutjeska National Park is the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is home to the Perućica Forest Reserve (one of two last primeval forests in Europe). It is a must-see for any wildlife lover as you are likely to spot a bear, wolf or chamois. If you are an avid birdwatcher, then Hutovo Blato National Park is the place to be. It is mostly made up of marshlands, and has over 240 migratory species of birds. The park offers boat tours through the wetlands for great sightseeing. Read our tips on birdwatching here.
Country Specific Issues
The national parks and wildlife reserves in the country consist of wide species of flora and fauna, with the mountainous areas being home to the wild bear and the lynx. Positive initiatives have been taken by the Serbian government to conserve these animal species. The popularity of wildlife in Bosnia and Herzegovina has led to the rise of eco-tourism in the country. Wildlife tours are a major part of the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tourism trade with plenty of guided wildlife tours offered by the local tourist boards as well as private travel agencies. Eco-tourism is a growing industry worldwide to support wildlife conservation efforts like those in Serbia. Make sure you check that your operator is genuinely acting in wildlife’s best interests by reading our guide to eco-tourism here.
Honduras Wildlife – Highlights
Although a small country, Honduras is host to a variety of animal species thanks to its contrasting climates (humid and tropical in the lowlands; cool and temperate in the mountains). Monkeys are one of the most popular wild animals in the tropical jungles. Other native species more common in the mountains are the fox, coyote, anteater, armadillo, and white-tailed deer. One of the more exotic (and elusive!) animals of Honduras is the jaguar, which inhabits the forests of the Mosquito Coast. The country is also a paradise for birdwatchers with over 700 different species, including parrots, swallows and toucans. Diving and snorkeling can be another great way to see wildlife. The reefs of Bay Islands are part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and abound with colorful fish, coral, rays, sea turtles and whale sharks. See our tips on marine activities here.
Country Specific Issues
Honduras is a major producer of coffee, bananas, cattle and timber, particularly tropical hardwood. This reliance on forest resources and shift towards mass agriculture has led to 37% forest cover reduction between 1990 and 2005. Local communities have not benefited however, with profits generally going to individual business owners and large international companies. On holiday or otherwise, supporting fair trade standard products from rainforest regions supports communities and thus protects well-managed biodiversity. Read more about fair trade here.
Illegal Wildlife Trade – Exotic Birds
Export of wild caught and captive bred exotic birds is a major black market trade across the Central American region. Around 100 of the world’s 350 parrot species are now threatened with extinction due to deforestation and the illegal animal trade. The birds may be a personal health risk as they often carry disease, are trafficked with no concern for the animal’s welfare and the practice poses a major threat to wild biodiversity. Read more about the illegal animal trade here.
Shark Fin Soup
In 2011, Honduras along with Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama banned shark finning in its coastal waters. The high value fins are sold in Asia for the traditional Chinese ‘delicacy’ shark fin soup. The trade is a welfare and conservation catastrophe for sharks. On the other hand, shark sanctuaries not only protect the sharks but also produce revenue through tourist shark diving. Read more about shark fin soup here and watch a news video on the shark fin ban here.
This game pits two opponents with very different climates. Bosnia’s beautiful forests and marshlands have given rise to eco-tourism in the country, but one must make sure “eco” tours are genuinely acting in the animals’ best interests to keep fans cheering. Honduras’ tropical lowlands and cool mountains are home to fan favourites such as monkeys, jaguars, toucans, and parrots – sadly, illegal wildlife trade and deforestation threaten many.
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 v 2 Honduras after full time…
Still nothing between them: Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 v 3 Honduras after extra time…It’s gone to penalties!
Extraordinatry! Honduras clearly have a very talented team, but the effort Bosnia has put in could just swing it:
Bosna win 7 – 6 on penalties!
Don’t miss the next game…