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Wildlife Photography Ethics Article in Audubon Magazine
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05-05-2015, 10:31 AM Nancy Stocker

This is worth reading. It would be easy to take a strong position on one side or the other. More important is that each of us carefully considers our own behavior (including my looking at my own) rather than pointing fingers at others.

I was disappointed in Arthur Morris' pointing fingers at the research done by wildlife biologists and comparing it to photographers' impacts. Perhaps he doesn't realize that, for example, research on the sudden drop of the Swainson's hawk population within the last 20 years resulted in the ban of a poison that was killing them in their winter home in South America. Their populations are now bouncing back, just as bald eagle and many other raptor populations did after we banned DDT in the US. There are many, many examples of scientists' disturbance of individual birds resulting in saving whole species of birds from human-induced disaster. For that matter, photographers have a positive impact on birds too by allowing people to see how amazing they are. Still, we need to tread thoughtfully at a time when birds are greatly stressed by development, habitat loss, etc.

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