The ugly side of wildlife photography

The ugly side of wildlife photography

Wildlife and their habitat are facing a new threat—from unethical practices deployed by a new breed of nature photographers. An exponential surge in the popularity of nature photography is unknowingly altering species behaviour and creating habitat disturbances.

Now, in an effort to sensitize wildlife enthusiasts and photographers on species and wild habitats, India’s well-known names in wildlife conservation, including nature photographers, authors, cartoonists and conservation practitioners, have come together with collective inputs in a guidebook titled Stop! Don’t Shoot Like That: A Simple Guide to Ethical Wildlife Photography.

The guide, co-authored by Shekar Dattatri and Ramki Sreenivasan, co-founders of wildlife portal Conservation India, will be released this month.

“The craze for wildlife photography has increased, but unfortunately, there is no understanding of ecology or animal behaviour amongst most photographers. We have attempted to create an awareness that the quest for the perfect shot may be detrimental for the species and how repeated off-roading on a wild landscape harms the ecosystem,” says Sreenivasan.

Unscrupulous photographers are even using tools such as camera traps, bird-call recordings and playback (to entice birds) and remote-controlled devices used for scientific studies in the hope of capturing unique animal behaviour or rare species.

Insensitive photographers collude with greedy safari drivers and irresponsible forest guides to agitate and provoke animals for “action photography” for an award-winning shot. Conservationists opine that over time, such malpractices have altered the behaviour of large mammals, making them aggressive.

Read the original article: The ugly side of wildlife photography

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