Code of Ethics for Nature Photographers...... and Birders

To: Chris Charles <>
Subject: Code of Ethics for Nature Photographers...... and Birders
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 14:50:25 +1100

Unfortunately, some people believe that laws etc do not apply to them. Just look at the number of people who get booked by fixed speed cameras for instance.


On 13/11/2010, at 2:12 PM, Chris Charles wrote:

Good non-prescriptive common sense Carl.
However the catch is that those that have made the commitment to membership of an Association & long lenses have most likely already made their mistakes & are well intentioned with a degree of bushcraft. Meanwhile everyone with a mobile phone is now a photographer & it doesnt take long to work out that you need to use all of your megapixels to get a good image, which means perhaps 400mm from a nesting bird, if the opportunity presents itself.


Chris Charles
0412 911 184

33deg 47'30"S

On 13/11/2010, at 11:48 AM, Carl Clifford wrote:

Dear All,

I have been doing a bit of research on codes of ethics for nature photographers. I have come across one drawn up by the North American Nature Photography Association (NAAPA), which seems to be a pretty good code of ethics for not only photographers, but birders as well. I have pasted it below. Perhaps we should all print out a copy or two and keep it with our birding gear in case we see anyone photographer or birder doing the wrong thing. And to remind ourselves as well.

NANPA believes that following these practices promotes the well being of the location, subject and photographer. Every place, plant, and animal, whether above or below water, is unique, and cumulative impacts occur over time. Therefore, one must always exercise good individual judgment. It is NANPA's belief that these principles will encourage all who participate in the enjoyment of nature to do so in a way that best promotes good stewardship of the resource.

Learn patterns of animal behavior
So as not to interfere with animal life cycles.
Do not distress wildlife or their habitat.
Respect the routine needs of animals.
Use appropriate lenses to photograph wild animals.
If an animal shows stress, move back and use a longer lens.
Acquaint yourself with the fragility of the ecosystem.
Stay on trails that are intended to lessen impact.

When appropriate, inform managers or other authorities of your presence and purpose.
Help minimize cumulative impacts and maintain safety.
Learn the rules and laws of the location.
If minimum distances exist for approaching wildlife, follow them.
In the absence of management authority, use good judgment.
Treat the wildlife, plants and placesasif you were their guest.
Prepare yourself and your equipment for unexpected events.
Avoid exposing yourself and others to preventable mishaps.

Treat others courteously.
Ask before joining others already shooting in an area.
Tactfully inform others if you observe them in engaging in inappropriate or harmful behavior.
Many people unknowingly endanger themselves and animals.
Report inappropriate behavior to proper authorities.
Don't argue with those who don't care; report them.
Be a good role model, both as a photographer and a citizen.
Educate others by your actions; enhance their understanding.


Carl Clifford

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