Some irresponsible photo safari operators, or operators of other wildlife viewing programs, can negatively affect the behavior and wellbeing of the animals, and even endanger them; they get stressed in the proximity of humans, alter their life cycles, herds are separated, mothers from their calves, even fatal accidents with vehicles occur.On the other hand, and if carried out in a responsible way, this type of tourism helps the survival of some species.
General guidelines for wildlife viewing
The animals should dictate all encounters: if e.g. a marine animal wants to interact, it may remain with the vessel. Otherwise they move away. We must respect their decision and not chase or pursue them. Experienced guides should be able to evaluate the animals' behavioral patterns and decide whether to approach carefully or not.
- Taking of, or harmful interference with flora and fauna, are prohibited.
- Do not use aircrafts, vessels, small boats, hovercraft or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or land.
- Do not feed, touch or interact with wildlife. Getting too close can alter their behavior.
- Do not provoke the animals.
- Animals are particularly sensitive to disturbance when they are breeding (including nesting) or moulting.
- Vegetation, including mosses and lichens, is fragile and very slow growing. Do not damage the vegetation by walking, driving or landing on any moss beds or lichen covered rocks.
- Keep noise to a minimum in order not to frighten wildlife.
- Be predictable and consistent in your behavior.
- Do not introduce any non-native plants or animals.
- Keep a safe distance from wildlife, both on land and at sea.
- Reduce engine pollution - in all encounters with wildlife, make sure you are using low-emission engines, especially in small boats.
- Polarized lenses can greatly improve the viewing of submerged or partially submerged animals.
- Encourage the use of binoculars to view marine animals and sea birds.