20 – 24 June
The 20 – 24 June is The Green Blue’s Boating Wildlife Aware Week, a chance for boaters to learn more about best practice when experiencing wildlife out on the water, and how to best protect it too. Throughout the week we will be sharing guidance and information across The Green Blue website and social media channels.
What is wildlife disturbance?
Disturbance is any activity or noise that could change the normal behaviour of an animal, such as feeding, resting and breeding. Repeatedly preventing wildlife from carrying out their daily tasks could risk its well-being and even its survival. All types of watercrafts have the potential to cause distress to animals and birds, so it is important to plan ahead and lookout for upcoming wildlife, whenever possible.
Why is it important to be aware of wildlife?
Each disturbance causes a loss of energy to the wildlife involved. Birds repeatedly taking flight to escape noise will use unnecessary energy, thereby making them more vulnerable to predators. Mothers and young marine mammals are also vulnerable as their bond can be disturbed, leaving the young alone and exposed.
What are the signs of distress?
Being able to spot signs of distress can help boaters react accordingly. Whether it is reducing noise, moving further away or simply remaining still and calm, these actions could prevent an animal from abandoning its nest or leaving its dinner.
If you are concerned that an animal has been disturbed, here are some of the warning signs to lookout for, is it making alarm calls to others, has it become motionless or stampeded into the water? Each of these actions are signs that an animal is no longer relaxed and is on high alert.
Join in the conversation
Adopting good practice when out on the water is essential if we are to continue to be able to share our waters sustainably with the wildlife that inhabit them. Making small and gradual changes to how your actions on the water can have a real significant impact on the surrounding wildlife and their habitats.
You can find more guidance on boating around wildlife on the advice pages of The Green Blue website. You can also follow The Green Blue on Facebook, Twitter: @TheGreenBlue and Instagram: @the_green_blue and use the hashtag: #BoatingWildlifeAware.