Past events relevant to wildlife tourism







5th National Wildlife Tourism Conference,   “Wildlife tourism values and challenges: Getting the right balance between needs of wildlife, tourists, operators and residents” 

These are crucial questions for tour guides, ecolodges and wildlife parks to consider if they wish to be a genuine part of the world’s responsible wildlife tourism trend.  They are also important for conservation managers, and for academics to assess where the important gaps in our knowledge are, and what current controversies could be alleviated by well-conducted research and by disseminating results of relevant research that already exists but not widely known in tourism and conservation circles. The conference brought together academics, tour operators,NGOs and others for important presentations and discussions. Results (where permitted by presenters) will  soon be published as Conference Proceedings and will available as a downloadable pdf from the website. 

Launceston and Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, 28-31October 2018

Visit for details


Can we make it work?

This was a half-dayworkshop of 12 peopleat University of SA (West Campus), Adelaide just prior to the Australian Citizen Science Association conference at the same venue

Many scientific researchers would love to have the budget to be sending research assistants every week to islands, reefs, forests, outback stations etc. Conservation managers are often hindered by lack of time to collect baseline data or to follow up with well-planned standardised monitoring of habitat restoration sites etc.Wildlife tour guides, ecolodge staff and zoo keepers are often in an excellent position to add substantially scientific research and monitoring for conservation management.Tourists often want to “give something back” to wildlife and habitats they are enjoyingHow do we best combine all this into something useful?

 We discussed:

General issues

  • Marrying theoretical research to collection of local data to serve more than one purpose (scientific inquiry, conservation management, tourist information…)
  • Ethical issues concerning tourists, tour operators and animals.
  • Making a commitment, not just launching into research for marketing purpose.
  • Making it enjoyable for volunteers and not too expensive

How do we assure valid and useful data are collected?

  • Defining goals, asking the right research questions, importance of good methodology and good supervisor
  • Training volunteers and tour operators
  • Scientific publication or public report?

How do we assign different tourists to different tasks?

  • Assigning Jobs based on the individual tourist fitness/skills/understanding/age/language…
  • Time needed for training volunteers? Worthwhile for short visits?

How useful are bio-blitzes and how do we involved tourists in them?

  • Packaging as part of an ecotourist experience.
  • Excessive time needed to make it worthwhile?
  • Controlling impact (e.g. trampling vegetation)
  • How to involve experts needed to identify species
  • Potential for projects other that combine species lists with investigating habitat restoration efforts etc.

How can we improve WTA’s research network?

  • Contacting potential stakeholders (scientists, tour operators, volunteers)
  • Forums, Information on monitoring methods, links to resources ….?
  • Getting feedback from volunteers, business operators, academic researchers, conservation managers …
  • Publicizing the network

a report will be available soon



Wildlife Interpretation: Into the future

Wildlife Interpretation: Into the Future


Illegal Wildlife Trafficking: Attacking on All Fronts

Combatting illegal wildlife trade in the wild, at airports, etc., use of tracker dogs, forensic analyses, education, enforcement of laws etc.

Visit (includes a downloadable pdf of the report).


Where the Wild Things Grow: Leadership, Partnerships and Ethics in Wildlife Tourism

6-10 November, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, principle sponsor DEWNR

Australia’s 4th national wildlife tourism conference


Enjoyable, Memorable, Meaningful:  Using wildlife interpretation to do it all

This was a workshop for tour operators, staff of ecolodges, wildlife parks and national parks, members of natural history associations, students, researchers, biology teachers and others interested in catching up with recent research and ideas for quality interpretation

Our keynote speakers and main discussion leaders were Professor Betty Weiler and Associate-Professor Rosemary Black, providing a wonderful opportunity to learn from and interact with these long-term and well-published researchers on effective interpretation, and with other experts from both academia and the tourism industry.

Visit and for a report on the workshop

See photos of workshop here


Wildlife Tourism: a Force for Biodiversity Conservation and Local Economies?

Australia’s Third Wildlife Tourism Conference,Geelong (Victoria)  29 September to 2 October 2015

The structure for each day of this important conference, which included keynote speakers from USA, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia, was presentations in the mornings and round table discussions in the afternoons, on topics relating to the questions implied by the title for the conference. We heard many great examples of how wildlife tourism can indeed be such a force, some of the problems to avoid, and gaps in our knowledge that further research is required for,  Many of the presentations will be published in a special wildlife tourism issue of the Journal of Ecotourism next year.  Downloadable versions of presentations will also later be available on this website, but we are awaiting publication in JOE and other journals first so as not to interfere with their editors’ requirements.


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For details of the conference, please visit

Wildlife Tourism Workshop,

Clarence Valley, NSW, 24th October 2015

Betty Weiler, keynote speaker from Southern Cross University

Betty Weiler, keynote speaker from Southern Cross University

A one-day workshop was held in Grafton to discuss the potential for wildlife tourism in the Clarence Valley and how to plan for it, with major themes being good interpretation (including Indigenous), conserving biodiversity and the potential benefit of wildlife tourism to local communities.

For details, please visit



Innovation and diversity of experience in Sustainable Wildlife Tourism

Workshop run by Wildlife Tourism Australia, November 2014, in Perth, in cooperation with Murdoch University For report on discussions, and the many insights and ideas arising from them,  see Report on workshop

Wildlife tourism and conservation of biodiversity in parks

Workshop run jointly by Wildlife Tourism Australia and Office of Heritage and Environment NSW, November 2014, Sydney (an official parallel event for the IUCN World Park sCongress) This was an informal workshop to discuss wildlife-related aspects of tourism in protected areas, in preparation for the World Parks Congress. Topics discussed included  minimal-impact wildlife viewing using both new and old  technology, tour operators assisting with research or conservation monitoring, and research that is needed on tourism effects on wildlife and their habitats or on visitor behaviour and attitudes. Report on workshop


Snake as sister, spectacle or scientific object: connecting the dots for wildlife tourism

Wildlife Tourism Workshop, Darwin


Using Wildlife for Tourism:Opportunities, Threats, Responsibilities

Wildlife Tourism Australia’s 3rd national workshop Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, May 2012 Economics of wildlife tourism, providing world-class interpretation, contributions of wildlife tourism to conservation, minimising negative impacts  

Some other events in recent years:


Best EN Tourism Think Tank, South Africa 1721 June 2015

Sawubona and welcome to Think Tank XV with the theme “The Environment – People Nexus in Sustainable Tourism: Finding the Balance”,  Hosted by the University of Pretoria in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, June 17-21 2015!

(BEST EN = Building Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Education Network) (WTA Chair Ronda Green  attended on behalf of WTA and presented a paper on preserving biodiversity as tourism expands)

Australian Citizen Science Conference 2015:  Maximising the Capacity of Citizen Science for Science and Society

A Fenner Conference on the Environment supported by the Australian Academy of Science 23-24 July, 2015, The Shine Dome, Canberra

(WTA treasurer and WTA chair Drs Peter Wood and Ronda Green prepared a poster presentation on WTA’s research network, and Ronda attended the conference on behalf of WTA)

International Coral Reef Symposium

Cairns, Australia July 2012.

Bush Lore Australia

  • Wilderness Survival Course- Basic: 28 to 29 July 2012
  • Outdoor Navigation Course: 28 to 29 July 2012

The 8th National Rehabilitation Conference,

Townsville, Nth Queensland, July 16-20, 2012

Emerging Tourism Opportunities – People, Partnerships and Programs in the Kimberley

 29-30 August 2012


Camera Trapping in Wildlife Management & Research Colloquium

September 2012, Sydney Visit ——————————————————————————————————————

Binna Burra Bird Week with Barry Davies

October 2012 (Barry, of Gondwana Guides, is a member, and former committee member, of WTA) ——————————————————————————————————————

Global Eco Conference

Cairns 15-17 October 2012 Ecotourism Australia (attended by Ronda Green and Peter Wood, chair and secretary of Wildlife Tourism Australia, and Ronda presented a paper on wildlife tourism) See: ——————————————————————————————————————–

Training with Savannah Guides

1-4 November 2012 Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory The Savannah Guides School was held on the theme of “Working Together – Savannah Guides Partnerships” with a heavy involvement by NT Parks and Wildlife Service and Tourism NT, and association also with the Indigenous Business Partners and communities and organisations of the Katherine region.


Using Wildlife for Tourism:Opportunities, Threats, Responsibilities

Wildlife Tourism Australia’s 3rd national workshop Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, May 2012 Visit: Economics of wildlife tourism, providing world-class interpretation, contributions of wildlife tourism to conservation, minimising negative impacts

Wildlife Expo

Wildlife Tourism Australia had a display at  the Scenic Rim’s third Wildlife Expo in Beaudesert (southeast Queensland) Sunday 7th August 2011 Animals, People – a Shared Environment, Conference in Brisbane

The 4th Biennial Australian Animal Studies Group Conference

Brisbane 10- – 13th July 2011. The theme, Animals, People – a Shared Environment, includes wildlife tourism as one of the topics and Ronda Green (chair WTA spoke of her experiences in wildlife tourism and human-wildlife interaction).

World Environmental Education Congress

WEEC Brisbane 19-23 July 2011