I have already shared this on the Wildlife Tourism Australia website, but thought it may also reach some interested persons here.
There are some excellent tips and it also includes links to a number of other very useful sites, some of which link to further sites …
Well worth taking a look if you want to improve your wildlife photography
Wildlife Tourism: A Handbook for Guides, Tour Operators, Job-seekers and Business Start-ups
Most books on wildlife tourism are aimed at researchers and policy-makers. This one is more of a practical guide for those who want to work (or are already working) within the field of wildlife tourism as guides, ecolodge managers, wildlife park staff or other situations where they will be interpreting our wildlife to visitors and also making a living.
Coming more from an academic background than a business one (although I had once run a holiday farm), the business of starting and running a small business took me and my husband into a very steep learning curve. I knew little of the red tape involved, marketing, book-keeping, insurance, or working with booking agents. One of the aims of the book is to help others who may be in the same boat – starting out with loads of enthusiasm for wildlife and for haring their enthusiasm with others, but lacking experience in running a business venture.
Other readers come from the other direction – they’ve been running a tourism or related business but have an interest in including more wildlife experiences, and want to brush up their wildlife skills (bail knowledge and how to find, view and interpret animals), so there are chapters devoted to getting a grasp of the basics and links to further information.
For students and job-seekers there are also guidelines on what might appeal to your prospective employers.
Most of the examples are Australian, but there is ample general advice to be applicable anywhere in the world.
A PayPal system will soon be set up for other online and printed copies. Until then, it can be purchased directly by electronic transfer, cheque or credit card: contact me (Ronda) on firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Cost $27.50 plus postage ($5 Australian, $12 Asia-Pacific, $15 elsewhere)
Is this book for you?
The big picture: does wildlife tourism matter for our economy or for conservation?
Not just the facts ma’am (but not ignoring them either): why good interpretation is so important
What this book will do for you
Background experience of author
2. The basics
Skills you will need as a guide
Going a bit further: how to excel as a tour guide
Becoming self-employed as a tour operator or using your skills in other areas
3. Wildlife Skills 1: knowing the wildlife
Getting the ‘big picture’ of wildlife in Australia (or other countries): a good start for avoiding major errors and showing your guests what is different from their own homelands
Identifying wildlife: how to know what you’re looking at (or at least narrowing down the possibilities)
Finding out what species to expect in your district
4. Wildlife Skills 2: finding the wildlife
Knowing when and where to search
When you can’t see the wildlife: tracks, scratches, scats and sounds
5. Wildlife Skills 3: understanding the behaviour and ecology of wildlife
Why should you understand ecology?
Population ecology: why populations of animals of a particular species increase, decrease, stay the same or never enter a particular area.
Community ecology: interactions between species living in the same locality
Further notes on wildlife behaviour
6. Wildlife Skills 4: not disturbing the wildlife
How much disturbance can animals tolerate without changing their behaviour, avoiding you or even disappearing from the region?
How should we approach wildlife?
What happens to the wildlife you never see?
Other interactions with animals
7. Wider conservation issues
Getting it straight
Some threats to wildlife
Learning about conservation problems while still enjoying a holiday