I wanted to pick up on a couple of points that Chris made in his posting.
3. Environmental students. I hope everyone read Jill Denning's and
Denise Goodfellow's post on students. With all the "Eco" courses especially
ecotourism courses birdwatching is a non event.
I am a mature aged environmental student doing a Bachelor of Applied
Science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. I am much more interested in the
park management and flora and fauna management but I could easily and up in
the eco-tourism trade (especially with my sales repping experience). While
the course has no specific bird tourism content by taking ornithological
subjects for my minor disciplines I will make the course have a birdy bent.
Other students in the course have no, passing or intense interest in
birds, but do share an interest in our natural heritage in a broader sense,
a good thing. With my interest and the two or three other birding people's
interest we probably more than represent the broader communities interest
in birds, bird protection and bird watching.
5. Visiting birdwatchers do not go on set tours and make their own
arrangements. Actually a lot will but I know what Denise means.
Our non-birding, sea kayaking trip to Fiji will have two birdwatchers
(Myself and Wife) on it and we will expect to look at birds. Pause for
every passing seabird and climb mountains to seek out what may be another
tick. I will certainly make this interest known to our tour guides and I
hope, perhaps naively, that they will have some knowledge of the avian
fauna. If they don't, I'll try and teach them what I pick up while I am
over there. We also hope to make our own arrangements for a couple of
birding days, but do go on set tours.
I also had a bad experience recently when visiting Wilson's Prom N.P. From
previous postings I recalled that a ranger at the Prom was interested in
birds and would point out anything unusual that had been reported. I
thought I would ask the ranger at the gate if anything interesting had been
seen to be greeted by a snickering reply that there were "no more than
usual". I felt like a bit of a dill for a while and justified it away as
being a response from a casual worker. However, the point remains, as
stated earlier in the discussion that there is an untapped resource being
missed by tourism operators, in this case the National Park.
Well that's my two cents worth, well maybe four cents,
All the best,
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