Ana LemosFollow

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Joel Heinen

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Elizabeth Anderson

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Mahadev Bhat

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


American Crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, environmental economics, environmental social science, tourism, ecotourism, costa rica, tarcoles

Date of Defense



This thesis measures the economic value and social impact of tourism associated with crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) in Tárcoles, Costa Rica. Crocodile tourism is unique compared to other tourism operations in Costa Rica because it is managed locally and has grown in an organic matter. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from tourists and key informants who work, directly or indirectly, in crocodile tourism in the region. The results demonstrated that the economic benefits derived from nature-based tourism is an important strength and incentive for C. acutus conservation in Tárcoles. Bringing in an estimated USD 5,292,073.81 per year (estimated for 2014) in indirect sales, tourism is one of the main economic drivers and is central to the economic development of the region. Furthermore, understanding the social impacts of the tourism in Tárcoles is vital for ecosystem management and sustainability of the crocodile tourism industry.





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