Wildlife Watchers Code of Ethics
U.S. National Partners in Watchable Wildlife
- Respect wildlife
- Respect wildlife habitat
- Respect other wildlife viewers and property
- Respect the "wildness" of wildlife
Observe animals from a safe distance for us and for them:
- Use binoculars, spotting scopes, and viewing blinds for a close look.
- Move slowly and quietly.
- Avoid nests and dens. Leave baby birds and other animals where we find them.
- Learn to recognize and respect wildlife alarm signals.
- When an animal changes behavior as a result of our presence, we are too close.
Allow wild animals to forage for their natural foods:
- Put the safety and health of wildlife first by resisting that impulse to offer a handout.
- Reserve feeding of wildlife to backyard birds.
Film and photogragh wildlife responsibly:
- Use a telephoto lens from a viewing blind or a vehicle.
- Never chase, herd, flush or make deliberate noise that stresses wildlife.
Leave plants, trees, and other natural features as we found them.
- Encourage photo and film editors to adopt ethical standards that include lens size of published photos.
- Depict wildlife as part of a natural environment and identify photos of captured wildlife.
Always be considerate.
- Ask permission to watch or photograph wildlife on private land.
- Observe all rules and regulations.
Wait our turn to view or photograph animals when sharing a viewing area.
- Leave pets at home or in the car.
- Tread lightly, staying on trails and roads.
Return a gift to nature in all our actions.
- Consult our local wildlife agency for specific guidelines on ethical wildlife watching, filming and photography.
- Participate in wildlife and habitat conservation.
- Help others to become responsible wildlife watchers.