Wildlife Tourism Australia’s Research Network
Wildlife Tourism Australia has recognised that many people working within the wildlife tourism industry (marine and terrestrial) are involved in wildlife research and monitoring, without necessarily knowing of others engaged in similar activities. We are thus developing a network of:
- tour operators conducting scientific research, monitoring for conservation projects or recording natural history information
- tour operation that employ researchers (e.g. veterinarians at wildlife parks, marine biologists at island resorts) who are conducting research or monitoring
- tour operations that are willing to offer free or low-cost transport or accommodation or access (e.g. to view captive wildlife) for scientists or research students
- researchers who would like to know what such opportunities exist
- tourists who would like to volunteer for research or monitoring programs
Tour guides, eco-accommodation venues and wildlife parks are often in ideal situations for scientific research and able to provide access to researchers otherwise unable to get sufficient funding. Collection of data may be conducted purely by outside scientists, or by staff of tourism operations and associated scientists alone, or may provide opportunity for tourists and other volunteers to participate some may never involve tourists, others may allow tourists to observe and communicate with researchers, while others may actively involve tourist volunteers at various levels.
For a listing of current projects throughout Australia, visit the ‘Research Network‘ menu above. These pages are both for networking between researchers and for travellers to find something they may like to join in with as volunteers.
The Research Toolbox provides information for the researcher on equipment, identification guides, background information and other useful aids to designing and running projects.
A forum is under development. Some topics will be limited to registered researchers and tour operators, others will be open to all, including travellers seeking opportunities and discussing their experiences.