fur seal pups
If you visit California's beaches during elephant seal breeding season, remember - harassment of marine mammals is illegal, not to mention dangerous. This poster was created by students in the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) Art and Design Department as part of a community service project to help protect the wildlife. Thanks to Professors Mary LaPorte and Sky Bergman for organizing the project, and students Reid Vizcarra, James Butler, Felix Ng, Emma Lacey, Alice Terz and Hannah Jacobson for their fantastic work!

How can you distinguish between nature or wildlife tourism, and true ecotourism?

The first two may occur in a natural setting, but if our actions or presence impact nature then they are not true ecotourism. For example, attracting wildlife, staging photo "action" shots, feeding animals, and altering habitats are not ecologically sound practices. True ecotourism is an ethic, not just an experience: it’s sustainable and it does not harm the wildlife or habitats.

Ecotourism provides enriching personal experiences and promotes environmental awareness through interpretation and a deeper appreciation for nature. It can provide economic incentives to conserve species and restore biodiversity. It can also help protect the natural and cultural heritage of our complex and changing planet. So, given the chance and some helpful guidance, you can make your wildlife adventure a true ecotour!