9 AMAZING EXAMPLES OF ECOTOURISM DRIVING CONSERVATION
Nature is everywhere, from national parks and bushlands right through to the rural and urban landscapes we live in, and that it is why it is so important, regardless of where you live in Australia. Not only is nature essential to our health, wellbeing and quality of life, our economy depends on it and Australia’s nature is so unique and diverse that we have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the world to protect and conserve it.
For some people, immersing themselves in nature and basking in its beauty is enough to remind them of the importance and value of both nature and conservation. However, there are many who are looking for more hands-on, interactive and/or educational experiences.
That’s why we are grateful to have so many certified operators who are passionate about and committed to conserving and protecting Australia’s unique biodiversity and fragile environments (and why we love introducing you to them!). Going above and beyond to offer diverse experiences that help visitors connect with nature in different ways and settings, encouraging people to get involved and enhancing their desire to care for nature, helps to build and share the knowledge needed to improve its care around the world today and for future generations to come.
So, for those who are interested in conservation and would like to get involved, or who perhaps don’t know a lot about it and would like to find out more, we’ve put together a list of some our certified operators who are active in this space. We’ve highlighted the ways they are currently engaging in conservation, and how you can support them and/or get involved.
1. Taronga Conservation Society Australia
…is committed to the conservation of native species, with active involvement in breed and release programs, habitat recovery and the rehabilitation and release of injured or orphaned wildlife. This business also helps to protect and sustain wildlife in its natural habitat and provides support for work in the field through national and international conservation partnerships, field grants and fellowships. Visitors can explore and be inspired by its growing team of scientists, researchers and keepers – with over 20 daily keeper talks and shows and up-close animal encounters for visitors to enjoy across both the Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.
Find out more: Taronga Zoo / Taronga Western Plains Zoo
2. Phillip Island Nature Parks
…are world leaders in little penguin research and also study other wildlife including Australian fur seals and coastal birds. Phillip Island provides visitors with a wide range of immersive and educational environmental experiences, including self-guided viewing options and ranger-guided tours that’ll bring you up-close and personal with the island’s marine and coastal wildlife. As a not-for-profit organisation, your visit will directly contribute to the island’s conservation efforts. And you can help even more directly by volunteering with community locals and others from all over the world to assist with their revegetation and monitoring programs!
3. Pacific Whale Foundation Australia
…is an international NGO (non-government organisation) and world pioneer in sustainable ecotourism, on a mission to protect the oceans through science and advocacy and inspire environmental stewardship. This NGO shares its love of whales and their ocean home through research-based whale watching ecotours, from which the profits support whale and dolphin research, marine education for children and ocean conservation programs in Australia and around the world.
4. Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC)
…is a voluntary non-profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. Endeavouring to help in all efforts to rescue turtles in distress, CTRC shares its knowledge of turtle rescue, rehabilitation and research, raises awareness of issues faced by marine turtles through positive publicity and teaching, promotes humane and sustainable practices through cooperation and education and seeks to positively influence government policy relating to turtle conservation and the marine environment. Join CTRC on a guided daily tour and learn about not only the history of the organisation but the journey to recovery that injured or sick turtles undergo prior to their release back into the ocean.
5. Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA)
…make it easy for people to care for nature by volunteering on one of their many conservation projects across the country. With the help of volunteers from all walks of life, CVA restore, rehabilitate and manage land to support the recovery of threatened species and conserve Australia’s unique plants and animals. CVA focus on protecting and enhancing nature in places where people need it most: close to home, along coasts, in waterways, in urban places and in community spaces.
6. Birds Australia Gluepot Reserve
…is Australia’s largest community managed and operated conservation reserve, which has successfully combined the elements of biodiversity conservation and enhancement through land management, scientific research and monitoring, environmental education and sustainable ecotourism. The reserve works hard to involve visitors in its conservation efforts where possible and inspire environmental stewardship through its bird observatory, visitor centre, environmental education courses and guided tours of the reserve.
7. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
…is dedicated to helping save Australia’s endangered wildlife from extinction. Working hard to not only keep and breed rare animals but interact with programs aimed at saving them in the wild, it also makes it easy for visitors to learn about conserving native wildlife such as dingoes, barn owls and spot-tailed quolls with its ‘conservation in action’ wildlife shows. These shows are fun and educational, with the animals getting up to their clever antics and the keepers providing lots of insightful details about the different species and their conservation status.
8. Zoos South Australia (Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo)
…are involved in a wide range of conservation programs including captive breeding, habitat restoration, biological surveys, conservation education, wildlife disease management and so much more! All of these are funded by the Zoos SA Conservation Fund, generated from revenue taken from the zoos’ behind the scenes animal experiences, donations and fundraising efforts throughout the year.
9. Crystal Creek Meadows
…is a luxury accommodation passionate about improving its property’s biodiversity through the rehabilitation of cleared, devastated land and regeneration with native species. Actively encouraging its partners, community and guests to participate, Crystal Creek Meadows engages in projects such as tree planting on the property to support its ongoing efforts to provide habitat for native birds and wildlife. A beautiful activity to share and perhaps to mark a special occasion or memory!
Together we have the power to create a world where people and nature can thrive in harmony for generations to come. So, travel wisely, choose thoughtfully and be sure to check out our Green Travel Guide for more information on our certified operators and their incredible conservation efforts.
[Header image: Taronga Zoo]