Wildlife Tourism Australia Inc., Ronda Green, Queensland, Australia

Wildlife Tourism Australia Inc., Ronda Green, Queensland, Australia

www.wildlifetourism.org.au | c |

Wildlife Tourism Australia Inc. (WTA) is a non-profit organisation with a mission statement of promoting the sustainable development of a diverse wildlife tourism industry that supports conservation. It grew from Australia’s first national conference on wildlife tourism, run by the Wildlife Sector of the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism in 2001, and was incorporated in 2003. Membership includes academic researchers, students, tour operators, staff of wildlife parks and ecolodges, conservation managers, government reps, NGOs and others interested in ecologically-sustainable wildlife tourism. Although based in Australia we have members in Japan, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Ghana, South Africa and elsewhere.  Our 2020 webinars had delegates from over 30 countries. WTA conferences, workshops, webinars and other events attempt to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to share information, perspectives and ideas. We have so far held events in all states and territories except ACT, both in major cities and regional areas. The website offers guidelines for best practice, plus discussions, conference report and blog entries on minimal-impact wildlife-viewing, quality wildlife interpretation, welfare of wild and captive animals, conservation issues, problems of small businesses, and other topics related to wildlife tourism, an extensive list of references to academic and other publications, information on Australian regions and wildlife, NGOs and tourism businesses run by our members (searchable by region, animal type, habitat or activity), and a networking page for individual members. A research network aims to increase communication between tour operators conducting research or monitoring of wildlife or habitats, and also between operators and academic researchers and between operators and tourists willing to engage in citizen science while traveling. WTA has affinities with Ecotourism Australia, Protect the Bush Alliance, Australasian Bat Society and WeNaturalist.. 
 
     Dr. Ronda Green, the current chair of Wildlife Tourism Australia, has had a lifelong fascination with nature and concern for biodiversity conservation and animal welfare. She holds a PhD in zoology, conducting both ecological and wildlife tourism research and lecturing on same, and is a freelance environmental consultant. She also runs her own business, Araucaria Ecotours, specialising in educational wildlife tours, is a member of the  Biodiversity Working Group of IUCN’s TAPAS (Tourism And Protected AreaS) and chair of the Scenic Rim branch of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. She has been an invited speaker on sustainable wildlife tourism in Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia, and frugivory and seed dispersal in Brazil, as well as various topics in Australia. She has previously run a holiday farm concentrating on animal care, horsemanship and nature studies, and been a seasonal ranger in charge of interpretive activities and a project officer looking at educational and recreational activities for primary-aged children. Her publications include articles in academic and other journals and various book chapters, and several books including “Wildlife Tourism: A Handbook for Guides, Tour Operators, Job-seekers and Business Start-ups and “Understanding Australia’s Wildlife.” She has been vice-chair of WTA from its beginning, and chair since 2010.
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