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Management Planning Tools

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Singapore Zoo lies with twenty eight hectares of land, in the Upper Selectar Reservoir. The reservoir lies within central catchment area, which is heavily forested. The zoo contains at least three hundred and fifteen animal species, and attracts more than 1.6 million visitors every year.  The Zoo has always followed the modern pattern of displaying animals. The zoo displays animals in an open and naturalistic exhibit, having moats, barriers and glass between visitors and animals. The major activity at Singapore Zoo is viewing wildlife. The attractions include the Australian outback, which includes animals like Kangaroos, birds that can swallow metallic object and lizards having “accessories” around their necks. At the outback, visitors can encounter roos, grey kangaroos, dandy marsupials and agile wallabies skipping freely. there are rustic shed at the walkthrough sheds, showcasing a collection of educational interpretive and amazing reptiles. Another attraction is the critters longhouse, which houses curios critters, Goeldi’s monkeys, mousedeers, Kinkajous and leopard cats. at the cat country show, visitors come in close encounters with big cats like leopards, lions and the jaguar. In addition to this, Elephant of Asia is a show that recreationists can not fail to marvel at. It showcases the rich exotic Asian colors with the Asian elephants.

The Singapore Zoo is also flashed up by the presence of the Orangutan Species and proboscis monkeys. there are educative information on these animals, that will leave the recreationist more knowledgeable on wildlife species, lifestyle and culture. Visitors also have the opportunity to experience Africa in the zoo, with the presence of Ethiopian baboon, the Hamadryas baboons, African lions, zebras, African wild dogs, Cheetahs, Giraffes, and White rhinos, all present at the wild Africa attractions. Because the zoo is a family recreation center, children have the opportunity to marvel too. Despite the above attractions, children can also experience the rainforest kidzworld which includes a variety of exhilarating activities. Rainforest contains educational and fun activities such as pony rides, horse carriages, and unique picturesque.

Because the zoo attracts many visitors, the management is bound to face several issues relating to visits to the park. The major issue at the zoo is overcrowding. The park attracts many visitors that are sometimes beyond its carrying capacity. Over crowding causes many issues that both the management and visitors cannot ignore such as pressure on the available attractions and exceeding the carrying capacity. Over crowding also influences poor disposal of litter. It is difficult for visitors to allocate litter bins when people are crowded, which in turn influences visitors’ negligence and lack of responsibility towards disposing litter.  Despite having litter bins, some visitors leave trash everywhere, which is a health hazard to the animals. Poor disposal of litter and trash may lead to the exposure of toxic substances to the air, leading to air pollution. Animals may swallow the litter, which contains a harmful substance such as pesticides and oil. In the long run, littering endangers the surrounding environment, as well as the stability of the park, especially the safety of animals.

The management can use several approaches to manage these issues for the visitors benefit, as well as the benefit of the animals. In the planning and management approaches, Singapore Zoo management can utilize a number of available tools that make park and zoo management easy. These tools include the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS), the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC), Visitor Activity Management Process (VAMP), Visitor Impact Management (VIM) and Visitor Experience Resource Protection (VERP).

Visitor Impact Management

This management tool covers a variety of techniques and processes for supervising visitors, their impacts and their activities in specific areas (Buckley, 2004). Public and private organizations in the tourism sector use this tool for managing natural areas that require special protection. VIM’s focus is on the visitor impacts on specific locations. This management tool, just like the visitor Activity Management tool, relies on specific methods for its application. The methods include education, track hardening, time mechanisms, behaviour management and other design led solutions. VIM processes recognizes the standards and indicators for mangers to obtain desired goals. the managers at Singapore Zoo would need to state the zoo’s goals, in order to utilize this tool. The goals can range on the type of resources, activities, and the recreationists. Therefore, if the goal of the zoo is to maintain the animals’ health or increase visitors per year, the management can utilize VIM to help the zoo achieve this goal. In this aspect, the tool resembles Limits of Acceptable Change, though its techniques are simpler than those of LAC, and were the first ones to be developed. 

VIM’s techniques are more familiarized to respond to the perceptions of managers instead of the stakeholders. Additionally, it is easy to incorporate VIM’s processes for participation models.   As stated earlier, VIM is most applicable in protected areas management. Despite this, it is compulsory to apply formal frameworks to influence its positive performance. One of the frameworks is VAMP, which includes a variety of steps. The steps include; Setting objectives and terms of reference, data analysis and development of databases, developing an alternative to concepts f visitor activities, plan documentation and finally, implementation. These processes can extend to include other steps, especially in areas with broader analysis scales. The additional steps would include reviewing and identifying issues, indicator selection, resources inventory, indicator standards specification, iterative monitoring process and implementation, impact versus standards comparison, and management alternative identification.  Visitor management is a key concept to the functioning of the Department of Conservation (DOC) strategy, as it fosters utilization of historic and natural recreational resources. The DOC visitor strategy allows the management of design the management process by seeking to identify values, assessing potential visitor impacts, responding and monitoring the impacts and developing an ideal management regime. The focus of the Doc is to develop a standard process, which identifies key visitor impacts, especially on the values of the location. to do this effectively, the strategy employs the help of other management agencies like Geographic Information Systems.

The Visitor Impact Management (VIM) addresses problem conditions, management strategies and potential causal factors (Pigram &, Jenkins, 2006). The tool employs the same methods to assess and identify the effects as well as the causes. VIM aids managers in providing information that helps them control or reduce undesirable behaviour from visitors. In addition to this, VIM also suggests several approaches to that construct a scientific understanding of visitors’ impacts, nature and causes. It looks at impact relationships, activity-specific influences, impacts to varying tolerance. Lastly, VIM provides a means of managing or decreasing impacts of undesirable recreational use. East Coast Park managers could use this strategy to prevent or reduce the impacts of littering. Because it provides alternatives to the carrying capacity concept, the managers could use it to plan on the parks; carrying capacity in order to prevent overcrowding.


the zoo’s management could use this tool to ensure that over crowding does not affect allocation of recreational activities.  The framework helps the management develop various options for services and activities for visitors, and provide advices on activity approval plan. The zoo’s management would use tis framework to plan and ensure that the number of visitors to the park at any point coincides with the number of available resources. VIM should always be linked to the objectives of the overall management site.  Its analysis and investigation sites should recognize the cause of impacts in order to allow the set up of deeper research and monitoring framework. VIM provides a means of managing or decreasing impacts of undesirable recreational use. Singapore zoo managers could use this strategy to prevent or reduce the impacts of littering. Because it provides alternatives to the carrying capacity concept, the managers could use it to plan on the zoo carrying capacity in order to prevent overcrowding.

In the past, Visitor Management was based on the interpretations and perceptions of managers on the ground. In addition to this, agency’s policies and legislation drove its operations. Presently, stakeholders’ involvement is possible for reviewing relevant objectives, selecting central monitoring standards and indicators and initiating input into related strategies for management. This stakeholder involvement is beneficial in instances where there are suitable indicators of unacceptable consequences. In this case, the input of the public is able to identify relevant stakeholder perceptions on specific issues. In this respect, traditional VIM was similar to the processes of LAC. a

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