Wildlife Tourism: A Handbook for Guides, Tour Operators, Job-seekers and Business Start-ups
From the back cover:
Working with wildlife can be immensely satisfying. So can sharing your love and fascination for wildlife with other people through wildlife tourism.
It can also be challenging, and you may find yourself on a very steep learning curve about wildlife, interpretation skills, the tourism industry, PR, book-keeping and bureaucracy, especially if starting your own business. Even as an employee, job-seeker or student it is useful to understand the business side of things as well as the wildlife you’re dealing with, to appreciate what your employer may need from you.
You may already be knowledgable about running a small business but have only a superficial understanding of wildlife, or you may be an expert birder but unsure how to turn this into a vocation. This book will guide you through the basics of each of the skills you might need and provide links to much further information and advice, saving many hours of searching and hopefully avoiding some oversights and costly or embarrassing mistakes.
There are lengthy sections on knowing, finding, watching, viewing, protecting and interpreting wildlife, since the focus of wildlife tourism is of course wildlife. Every guide makes mistakes at times, but a sound grasp of the basics will help you avoid some of the worst slips in front of your guests. Examples given here for conveying ecological and behavioural concepts to your guests using the wildlife at hand should also trigger your imagination to come up with many more ways of doing this.
Much of the information is specific to Australia, but if you live and work elsewhere there is enough general information and advice to get you started, and to point the way to what to look up for your own country.
Author Dr Ronda Green, runs her own ecotourism business, conducts ecological research, and is currently chair of WIldlife Tourism Australia. She has worked as a lecturer, a holiday farm proprietor, an environmental consultant, project officer for the Australian Conservation Foundation, and seasonal ranger in charge of interpretive activities as well as being involved in many voluntary activities involving natural history. She found herself on a steep learning curve when starting her own business, and now shares much of what she has learnt.
The wildlife of our planet are facing many problems. People cannot care about what they don’t know, and they cant know how to help unless they understand something about wildlife and their habitats. Wildlife tourism provides a way to gently introduce large numbers of people to the diversity of animals we share the Earth with while simultaneously ensuring they enjoy their travels.
How to purchase the book:
The book is available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HE1SX1Q for Kindle version
The print version was launched at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast in July 2014.
Please let me know if you’d like to purchase a copy. We’ll soon have PayPal facilities, but until then you can purchase with credit card, electronic transfer or cheque. $27.50 plus postage (postage for single copy: $5 within Australia, $12 Asia-Pacific, $15 elsewhere)
You can also order the book from the Andrew Isles bookstore in Melbourne.
Some informal courses, both face-to-face and online, will be announced soon
Sometimes when learning something new and facing new challenges it helps to be able to test your understanding and to communicate with others who have been there, to toss around ideas for innovation, planning, delivering product and problem-solving. No guarantees here for solving everything, but our informal on-line and face-to-face crosses, coming soon, can help to speed your progress.
Weekend Natural History camps late 2014 and 2015
These will include
- bird watching with emphasis on bird behaviour and ecology,
- introduction to rainforest plant identification,
- basic wildlife ecology
- natural history of southeast Queensland
- children’s nature activities
- and various other topics