Communications, Travel, and Conservation with Brooke Mitchell-Norman

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Brooke Mitchell-Norman. They talk about tourism, communication, education, and how all of that relates to conservation!

Episode suggestion: Don’t sacrifice what you want now for what you want most of all.

Call to action: Support a local small business that donates or shares some of its profits with a cause you care about.

How does travel benefit conservation? 

  • When it is done right, it puts an exact value dollar on a live and thriving wildlife
    • When your favourite species is a top predator, it is in your genes to want to kill it to protect yourself
    • There are very few things in conservation that places monetary value on wildlife, nature, and intact ecosystems
  • A significant number of people are directly and indirectly supported through tourism

Can you tell us about some of the ways that travelers can not just support local communities and put value on live animals but also directly contribute to community science?

  • Do your research
  • Check the websites; can you tell if the business is locally owned or not? 
    • If so, your money will be for the local community
  • How are they interacting with wildlife?
    • If there are advertisements of people directly touching and interacting with wildlife, such as cubs, that is a red flag
  • If something makes you uncomfortable, you do not have to do it

Are there any countries with regulations on these things?

  • The Galapagos 
  • Africa
  • Be wary of Asia, research elephant tourism 

Why is communication and education so important for conservation?

  • Connection
  • We have to change the message from doom and gloom to storytelling and showing what we are fighting for
  • If you connect with someone on a deeper level, they are more likely to listen to what you have to say and support you

What are some misunderstandings?

  • That it is “bothering” wildlife, but there are always many layers to the reason for it. If it wasn’t for tourism, a lot of ecosystems would not have continued to thrive
  • There are a lot of tourism places that give a bad reputation to the reputable ones

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

Where to find Brooke:  Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube 

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