Wildlife Research Network

A network of tour operators, ecolodge or zoo staff and others  interested in research


whale tail photoWildlife Tourism Australia is developing a network of people within the wildlife tourism industry involved in scientific research. The purpose of this network is to enhance communication between operators involved in research, nurture the partnership between wildlife tourism and the scientific community, and facilitate citizen science, the endeavour of scientific discovery in Australia, the monitoring of conservation problems and projects, and the  expansion of our knowledge of natural history.

The research may include:

  • basic science research conducted by (a) tourism staff who have a scientific background, (b) tourism staff without a scientific background but working with scientists or (c) primarily by scientists outside the tourism operation but assisted by it (access to facilities, transport etc.)
  • monitoring of changes (e.g. seasonal differences, response to new developments, progress of habitat restoration plots, response to weather fluctuations or climate change)
  • natural history observations (notes on behaviour of animals, what they feed on, interactions etc. not destined for scientific publication but collectively of general interest and conducive  to new hypotheses for further research)
  • research on wildlife tourism itself (e.g. economic value to local communities, interpretation that is memorable,minimal-impact wildlife-viewing)
  • some of the above may  involve the assistance of tourists and other volunteers

Types of research involving tourism operators

Casual and informal research tourism

Many tours, ecolodge holidays etc. include some research amongst other things (e.g. whale-watching tours where guests are asked to look out for whales and to photograph their tails for identification of individuals traveling on their migration routes).

Specialised research tourism

However, other companies – e.g. Earthwatch (worldwide) and Eye to Eye Marine Encounters (Port Douglas) – are specifically set up for research involving tourists either as active researchers or interested onlookers.

How to get involved:

  • As a scientist requiring assistance from tour operators
  • As a tour operator already engaged in research or wanting to be
  • As a tourist wanting to volunteer as a research assistant:


There are also many dtabases and research projects operators and tourists can get involved with:

Useful apps include:

Operations and organisations in Australia currently engaged in citizen science within tourism include:

  • Earthwatch Australia
  • Conservation Volunteers Australia
  • Lady Elliot Island
  • Daydream Island
  • Lindblad Expedition
  • National Geographic
  • Biosphere Expeditions
  • Araucaria Ecotours
  • Aurora Exeditions 


  1. Hi all

    Hi all

    I am currently studding, Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management at the Gordon TAFE, attending school on Monday and Wednesday,.
    Ecotourism is in the area of work I would love to get into and I am willing to do Volunteering in this area to gain experience around my study and looking for full time work in this field in 2019.

    I live in Victoria and have my own car and willing to travel to gain experience in this field.

  2. Hello, my name is Morgan Salem. I am a recent transplant form the States, Texas to be more specific. I have a Bachelors degree in Environmental Conservation, Natural Resource Management and would love to be involved in some science related positions. I would be interested in volunteer work, part or full-time opportunities. I am looking to stay in the Melbourne area long term for the remainder of the year and have a work visa. I am open to traveling though if the opportunity arrises. I have had worked in field and laboratory settings doing research and different conservation and sustainabilty volunteer efforts. I have also worked for a university in the science spectrum and a non-profit that focused on sustainability efforts with education and legal actions. Please let me know what you have available and if you have any questions. My email is organ.salem@gmail.com



  3. Hi, I am interested for the Wildlife Tourism related job experience. My extensive background of 15 years has provided me with hands – on practical experience in all facets of travel that would effectively contribute to your organization’s goals and objectives. I’m enthusiastic about exploring opportunities with your organization and look forward to hearing from you. I’m ok if you contact me in the next couple of days to answer any of your queries and also schedule an interview call at your convenience. Thank You !

  4. I am very interested in doing wildlife job experience. I am 19 years of age and am very keen to get into this line of work. Please let me know if there is any job around Brisbane I can apply for.

  5. i am interested for the wildlife related job experience. let me know i have 14 years experience of forestry and wildlife but want to gain the australian experience. so please let me know if there is any job.


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