Code of ethics for participants

About | Policy and standards | Code of ethics for participants

As a responsible traveler visiting a remote tropical locality, it is in your best interest to ensure that your presence helps leave the site you visit better than you found it. Your visit should have a positive impact for local people and the preservation of local wildlife.

Lava lizard with a group of tourists in the background

By booking a TH tour, you are already having a positive impact, as 5% of each tour’s cost will go to protect a 56.5 ha plot of Ecuadorian Chocoan rainforest in to be incorporated to the Canandé reserve of Fundación Jocotoco. With the remaining funds, you will support TH’s scientific projects like the book Reptiles of Ecuador, and publications dealing with the classification and conservation categories of snail-eating snakes, pitvipers and rainfrogs.

Once in the field you can minimize your environmental footprint by following the local guide’s advice and by following this first version of our code of ethics for tour participants, created in April 2018, and implemented in all our herping tours and photo safaris.

Wash your rubber boots with a bleach solution before visiting a field site, especially a new stream. This is to avoid the unintentional spread of infectious diseases that are affecting amphibians.

Follow the instructions on how to photograph wildlife in-situ (in the specific microhabitat where the animal is found) and from an appropriate working distance.

Remember that the handling of animals, white background photography and collection of scientific specimens are restricted. These activities are only carried out by biologists under the scope of a research projects approved by the local environmental authority.

Treat members of local communities and staff from lodges and scientific stations with respect and dignity.

Try to photograph the two sides of the coin. Besides focusing on the beauty of wildlife, photograph the effects of deforestation, pollution and climate change to raise awareness about these problems among your peers.

Become empathetic towards wildlife and be sensitive about the effect your presence is having on each animal. Above all, try not to disturb natural behavior of animals.

Avoid sharing specific location of animal findings, as poachers or illegal collectors of wildlife may use them.

In group situations be considerate of other group participants photographers who may be watching the same animal.