Wildlife Watchers Code of Ethics

Texas Junior Naturalists

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.