12.00noon to 1.30pm (Adelaide time) 27th September 2021

Free Webinar followed by Wildlife Tourism Australia’s AGM

NOTE: a more detailed report will be available soon

Some animals are loved by almost everyone – koalas, quokkas, fairy-wrens etc. Others tend to be hated – e.g. sharks, snakes, spiders – by people in general. Some are enthusiastically sought by tourists – dingos, crocodiles, large bats, kangaroos and cockatoos – while many local residents curse them.

But the more unpopular creatures are just as likely to perform important functions in our ecosystems as the “cute and cuddly” ones do, and are a part of the biodiversity we seek to protect on our planet.

Also, some of the fear and hatred is misguided, and real dangers readily avoided. Snakes (with possible exception of some of the most enormous pythons) and spiders for instance know humans are far too big to eat, and so don’t stalk us the way a crocodile or leopard might. They don’t want to waste any of their precious venom they’ll be reserving for actual prey, and mostly see us (if they notice us at all) as a threat to stay away from.

Tiger snake. (Photo Barry Davies)

Today we examined some of the creatures that tend to be unpopular in local communities or by people in general

Real dangers and irrational or exaggerated fear and loathing: what should we do about each?

Ronda Green

Bat city – Living under one sky

Maree Kerr and Sera Steves

black flying fox


An exploration of the relationship between art and eco-tourism to promote conservation of bats. Bats are a vital, fascinating and misunderstood taxa. This presentation shows how art can reframe bats in a positive light and work with eco-tourism to create community pride in bats  and build a political will for conservation.

What is Sentient Shark Tourism?

Tony Isaacson

Tony explored best-practice shark tourism, dangers to sharks of some practices, and the need for more education.

Great white shark


Angus Emmot

Dingos are possibly “loved” a bit too much by some visitors to Fraser Island who can’t seem to resist feeding them (although this harms the dingos in the long run). They are generally not popular amongst farmers, many of whom would like to eradicate them. Angus spoke from the perspective of a successful outback cattle farmer who welcomes dingos on his land. Angus is also a keen wildlife photographer and runs ecotours.

Annual General Meeting

Standing for committee:

  • Ronda Green – chair
  • Maree Kerr – vice-chair
  • Aise Kim – secretary
  • Simin Maleknia – treasurer
  • Darren Green – membership secretary
  • Leah Burns – organiser of 2022 conference
  • Sera Steves
  • Noel Scott

All were elected