Wildlife Encounters

Aim: to minimize the effect to marine and coastal wildlife from encounters with people.

Signs of disturbance – how do you know you have been spotted?

Obviously this depends on the animal (more information for different species can be found on the following pages), but the signs may include some or all of the following: looking at you, sudden movements and alarm calls. If you ignore these reactions then more serious response may follow, for example: a change of behaviour, a change of direction, rapid movements, bunching up, flight, rushing to the sea, aggression, repeated crash dives or tail slaps.

Your actions that can scare, startle or panic wildlife – The real “No nos”:

  • Large numbers of people / craft surrounding marine life
  • Head on, close approaches
  • Moving at speed and making a lot of noise
  • Chasing wildlife or making wildlife separate, scatter or stampede
  • Flushing wildlife off rocks into the sea or air
  • Approaching large groups or mothers with young
  • Feeding wild animals which has damaging lifelong effects
  • Re-engaging animals once they have left
  • Damaging the environment or leaving litter
MAIN PHOTO: copyright Natural England/Rebecca Walker