Our rule is that if 20% or more of reviews on TripAdvisor for a wildlife attraction are negative, you should strongly suspect that your visit might have detrimental impacts on wildlife. Tourism Activities Trekking in the primary forest. Of the 24 types of wildlife tourist attractions we looked at: 1. Find out how to be a responsible wildlife tourist and put it into practice. We might get to hold a snake, or see a dancing macaque, or watch a Nigerian hyaena-man dance with his hyaenas. We selected 24 of these types for a detailed review, using all of the published information available. We’re often asked about what ethical wildlife experiences around the world we support. Tripadvisor Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Eighteen types (including venues where tourists can take “selfies” with tigers, feed bears in Japan, or see civet coffee production) are likely to negatively affect the welfare of, collectively, 230,000–550,000individual animals. The negative effects of wildlife tourism and related human activities on wildlife can be grouped into three main categories: (1) disruption of activity, (2) direct killing or injury, and (3) habitat alteration NOTE this page is in process of rearrangement and additions – please be patient and keep checking for future information, Below are examples of research which involves input by tour operators, tourists and others associated with tourism, which assist in accumulating knowledge of wildlife ecology or natural history or in monitoring for conservation management, We will later be developing a database that will be searchable by animal type, habitat and geographical region, Designed by Wildlife Tourism Australia | Copyright 2016 Wildlife Tourism Australia, Wildlife experiences in Australia – overview, Research and monitoring involving mammals, Research and monitoring involving reptiles and/or amphibians, Research and monitoring involving other animals, Australian Wildlife Conservancy volunteer opportunities, Community-based monitoring with photos, through Australia. Fourteen of these eighteen types (including some venues where tourists can swim with dolphins – both in the wild and captive – dive with sharks, and watch snake and bear dancing), involved 120,000 – 340,000animals whi… Remember that the vast majority of wildlife attractions get many positive reviews, whatever their standards, so the key is to look at the percentage of negative reviews. The dark truth behind many wildlife tourism activities has become ever-clearer. No matter which calls your name, you'll find yourself involved in a … As an article in National Geographic notes, “discerning the difference between ethical and problematic wildlife experiences” is a difficult task. the popularity of wildlife watching tourism continues to grow. Types of ecotourism include cultural ecotourism, endangered-wildlife ecotourism and adventure ecotourism. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138939, [1]http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138939. The park can organise night-spotting trips into the primary forest. (For example, of the attractions we describe in our first paragraph, can you tell which are likely to be good for wildlife, and which might have negative consequences? Australian Wildlife Conservancy volunteer opportunities (includes some monitoring activities) Conservation Volunteers Australia (includes some monitoring activities) Earthwatch Australia Australian. We never want to see anyone mistakenly end up in questionable wildlife encounter so we spent some time researching and collecting our favorites. We must ensure that we follow a few simple steps to identify and visit the right attractions. A visit to an exploitative attraction might leave us feeling cheated, or that the amazing experience of seeing and interacting with an animal had perhaps not been worth the price, not just in terms of the money we paid, but more importantly the bad outcome for conservation, or the animal suffering we had inadvertently supported. Every year 4-6 million[1] of us visit tourist attractions in which we can directly touch and interact with wild animals. Some might want to swim with dolphins, or ride an elephant or have their photograph taken with a tiger; or to bottle-feed lion cubs, or visit a crocodile farm, or see where civet coffee comes from; or perhaps to trek to see gorillas or polar bears in the wild, or dive with sharks. Read the negative reviews carefully, and ask yourself if they describe an attraction you would want to support. Think about choosing a different attraction with better reviews – the chances are that it will be better for wildlife, and that you will have a much better experience. claim to be sanctuaries but which are not, *The views and expressed opinions in this article are those by, follow a few simple steps to identify and visit the right attractions, Eighteen types (including venues where tourists can take “selfies” with tigers, feed bears in Japan, or see civet coffee production) are likely to negatively affect the welfare of, collectively, 230,000–550,000, Fourteen of these eighteen types (including some venues where tourists can swim with dolphins – both in the wild and captive – dive with sharks, and watch snake and bear dancing), involved 120,000 – 340,000, By comparison, only six types of attraction, involving 1,500 – 13,000. examples of a program combining tourist experience and citizen science projects around the world Without a full review of conditions at every establishment, tourists cannot be sure if, for example, a given organization that keeps elephants has excellent standards and happy elephants (and so deserves support through visits and donations) or if it treats them badly (in which case we might not wish to give them money.). So just do a small bit of homework, and follow our rule, and you are far more likely to have a wonderful, positive, wildlife encounter – and to take home a memory you can truly treasure. A large number of brilliant institutions exist that do great work for conservation and animal welfare and for the local community, and these institutions rely on the public’s money to survive. Of the 24 types of wildlife tourist attractions we looked at: The above findings are generalizations – and there will certainly be venues within a given type of attraction that have better impacts – but in general our work implies that 2-4 million tourists every year financially support – through attending them, and probably without intending to or realising – institutions that are likely to have negative impacts on animal welfare and/or conservation.