“Today more than ever, it is one of our duties to keep informed; the better informed we are, the better our basis for predicting consequences.” – Arne Næss

In the last decade wildlife tourism, conservation volunteering, and citizen science projects all over the world exploded in numbers. Potentially it was a huge market to take over and as expected it did. Search over the web for wildlife tours, or volunteer organizations and you’ll quickly get overwhelmed. Every one of them tries to get your attention.

While quite a few of these venues are truly remarkable, this expected explosion of opportunities and adventures came at a price: it muddled the good and the not-so-good venues. Not all wildlife adventures are animal cruelty ­free; Not all citizen projects data collection protocols amount to relevant conservation science. As well as not all advertised volunteering projects are relevant and responsible. Regrettably many do not have the net positive on the environment or the species that they say they help; Too few tell you where the money really goes. It is heartbreaking to read and listen to the testimony of young volunteers who discovered weeks, years later that they were fooled, realizing that the fate of an animal they cared for was different than what they were led to believe [SS15].

Then how do you evaluate a venue, or volunteering project and the organization that manages it? Here is a framework to help you…

🌰 In a Nutshell…

The EwA Complete Guide to Choosing Nature & Nature Venues is a comprehensive and easy guide to facilitate your research of:

➢ Wildlife/Nature tours, parks, sanctuaries.
➢ Wildlife/Nature conservation volunteering or citizen science opportunities.

It gives you tools for getting a sense of the ethics and relevance of the venue, as well as it helps you understand your motivation, define your goal(s) and match your needs.

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◊ The references mentioned on this page are listed in the Extended Bibliography.

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