Wildlife tourism assisting wildlife: making it really happen!

Griffith University (Nathan),

Brisbane 1-5 November 2022

Wildlife tourism can assist wildlife.

We know this. We’ve discussed it many times over the years.

Wildlife tourism can also have negative effects. We’ve discussed this many times also.

Frustrated tourists will start traveling again as the pandemic allows. Tour operations will increase their activities once again.

But wildlife habitats are still being cleared at alarming rates. Feral animals are competing with, preying upon and trampling the habitats of native animals. Climate change is threatening many species, either directly or indirectly. Poaching is still a multi-million dollar illegal industry which is terrible for conservation and animal welfare.

It is now more important than ever for wildlife tourism to really, genuinely, do something positive for wildlife.

Wildlife tourism can assist wildlife. We agree on that or we wouldn’t be promoting it. But how do we make it do so more effectively and widely? How do we know we’re having a positive effect?

Call for papers will be opening in February, with registration following soon thereafter, and we welcome academic presentations (research and review), case histories by tourism operators, and innovative ideas from anyone with an interest in the topic.

We are now seeking no-obligation expressions of interest (you will be added to an email list for updates), including a working title if you are considering a presentation). Send this (with subject line “WTA conference 2022″) to [email protected]

Our subthemes will be:

Shingleback lizard, outback Queensland. Photo: Araucaria Ecotours
  • Active conservation by tourism operations: protecting or restoring habitats and species
  • Active conservation by tourism operations: conservation breeding
  • Captivating tourist interest in and appreciation of the less famous or charismatic wildlife
  • Enjoyable but also effective visitor education for increasing appreciation and understanding of wildlife ecology and conservation issues
  • Conservation-related research (including citizen science involving operators and/or tourists)
  • Giving captive animals a life worth living. What do we know about what matters to the animals themselves, how do we provide it and what do we need to study further?
  • Climate change and wildlife tourism: how can we have a positive effect, ether directly or via visitor education)
  • Covid-19 lockdown effects: how do we preserve the positive impacts of lockdown while returning to something approaching normal?

We’re also holding free public forums (Covid-permitting!) at Southbank Parklands, for both delegates and the general public, on human-wildlife interactions and Indonesia/Australia wildlife travel.

Also visit:


Wild koala near Gold Coast. Photo: Araucaria Ecotours

Minke whale, Coral Sea. Photo: Eye to Eye Marine Encounters

Many thanks to our major sponsor: Griffith University (Science Group, School of Environment and Science, and the Environment Futures research Institute)

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