General Wildlife Viewing Tips

General Wildlife Viewing Tips

How to make the most of your wildlife tourism experience – maximizing safety, visitor satisfaction and minimising disturbance to the animals.

What to Take

Binoculars – To see the animals clearly, and observe their behaviour (both day and night) take binoculars.

Torch or Spotlight – To find wildlife at night use a strong torch or 30 watt spotlight, with a filter made of red cellophane to minimize disturbance to the animal.

Field Guide – To identify species take a field guide of Australian mammals.

Camera – To make your wildlife viewing experience memorable take along a camera. Using a strong zoom or telephoto lens will allow you to take better photos, as well minimising disturbance to the animals.

Where to Look

If you want to see wildlife living in captivity go to a zoo or wildlife park, or if you want to see underwater animals, to an aquarium.

If you want to be confident of seeing animals in the wild go on a guided tour, stay at accommodation that features wildlife, or go to a natural wildlife attraction.

If you want to see animals on your own, go to a protected areas such as a national park or nature reserve, or visit one of the many golf courses and other areas of private land where you can see plenty of wildlife.

What to Do

Keep Noise Down – Approach animals very slowly and quietly. When they begin to show obvious signs of alarm, stop moving. Always speak quietly and keep very still. Loud noises and sudden movements frighten them and they will move away.

Don’t Get Too Close – Keep a reasonable distance away from the animal. You can tell if you are the right distance away because they will stay where they are and will resume normal behaviour after a short period of time. If they move away do not pursue them, since this will only cause them to flee.

Do Not Feed Them – Avoid handfeeding animals living in natural areas as unnatural food may harm them. For example, feeding bread to kangaroos can cause their gums to become infected; a condition known as lumpy jaw.

Do Not Touch Them – Avoid touching the animals because this causes them to become ‘stressed’ and they may flee from you if you do this. You may also pass on infections to them.

Drive Carefully – Drive carefully through National Parks and keep your eyes open for wildlife. This is particularly important at dusk, when kangaroos are likely to dash in front of your car. It is not uncommon to see injured or dead animals on the roads.