Ethical Wildlife Viewing

ethical wildlife viewing

At the Key West NWR, we encourage visitors to respectfully enjoy wildlife at a safe distance.  Disturbance or harassment of wildlife is defined as any activity that alters or changes the natural behavior of wildlife, which can be detrimental to the animal's health, safety, or productivity. Types of activities that can cause disturbance are: getting too close to birds resting on mangrove islands or shallow water areas; chasing wildlife; using flash photography in close proximity to wildlife; playing recorded bird calls; feeding wildlife; or throwing objects at wildlife. Any action that results in the disturbance or harassment of wildlife on a national wildlife refuge is unethical and illegal, and can result in hefty fines or arrest. Witnesses to any of these types of violations are encouraged to report them immediately to refuge law enforcement. Remember to exercise caution when viewing, photographing, or filming wildlife for the welfare of the wildlife and for the respect of other visitors.