By : R. M. Wasantha Rathnayake
To protect endangered turtles that nest in one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Sri Lanka wildlife officials need to consider increasing the entrance fee charged for turtle watching. Research suggests that visitor fees can be increased from the current level of 0 to LKR 143 (USD 1) per visit for local visitors, and, from LKR 1000 to LKR 2470 (USD 8 to 19) for international tourists. Increasing the entry fees will result in additional annual revenues of LKR 70 million (USD 0.5 million) to sanctuary managers. These revenues can be used to fund turtle protection and to involve local households in turtle conservation. This approach is feasible because visitors to the sanctuary are willing to pay to conserve turtles, and, at the same time, locals want to play a role in this work.
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