Sustainable wildlife tourism has the potential to introduce many hundreds of thousands of people to the wonders of this planet's wildlife, but there is always a risk of disturbing or even destroying the very animals we seek. Potential problems include:
Wildlife tourism can also bring benefits to wildlife conservation:
We need to maximize the positive and minimize the negative impacts
She is also chair of the Scenic Rim branch of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (see Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Scenic.Rim.Wildlife)
Araucaria Ecotours is a member of Ecotourism Australia (and we have achieved advanced eco-accreditation for all our tours), and we are personally members of the Lamington Natural History Association, the Australian Orangutan Project and the Logan and Albert Conservation Association
Ronda has been leading tours and field excursions into wildlife habitat for many years, always very mindful of the value of experiencing nature and helping others to do so while not unduly disturbing the animals and their environments. She has also conducted extensive literature research plus interviews with tourists, tour operators and conservation managers for the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, published (with co-author Karen Higginbottom) a report on 'Negative Effects of Wildlife Tourism on Wildlife'.and several other related publications. She was also second author ( with Karen Higginbottom and Chelsea Northrope) on 'Positive Effects of Wildlife Tourism on Wildlife.'
On behalf of Wildlife Tourism Australia Ronda contributed some years ago to the wildlife guidelines for Ecotourism Australia's eco-accreditation process and has led various related workshops including one leading to WTA's policy statement on the feeding of wildlife. She was to have led a workshop on maximizing contributions of wildlife tourism to conservation at a national conference in 2010, but the conference was canceled due to insufficient registrations to cover costs.
See also a presentation by Ronda Green at the 2002 International Ecotourism Conference in Cairns.: The tour operator's dilemma: Keeping the customer happy while not disturbing the wildlife - also other relevant publications and presentations by Ronda. plus numerous publications on wildlife tourism by other authors in the Sustainable Tourism CRC series.
There is much of relevance also amongst Wildlife Tourism Australia's bibliogaphy