Protecting Antarctic Wildlife

The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty designates Antarctica as a natural reserve and protects the native wildlife and environment. Regulations therefore exist to ensure that tourism does not negatively impact on Antarctic wildlife or the environment. The Antarctic Treaty prohibits any harmful interference or disturbance to the wildlife, including feeding, handling, or approaching in a way that causes them to change their behaviour.

Walking Near Wildlife

IAATO recommendations further advise that visitors should minimise as far as possible any disruption to by walking slowly when around wildlife, stopping if necessary and maintaining a distance of at least five metres from all animals. Visitors are also asked to ensure that animals are not unintentionally surrounded by groups of visitors, or have their route to the sea cut off.

Non-native Species

Part of the Environmental Protocol also bans all non-native species of animals or plants from Antarctica (unless specially permitted), in order to preserve the environment and Antarctic eco-system. Visitors are asked to check that all of their clothing and equipment is clean before packing for Antarctica, and to follow boot and clothing decontamination procedures to ensure that no non-native species are accidentally introduced into Antarctica.

For the 2015-16 season IAATO have also banned the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in order to minimise any disruption to wildlife. This ban will be reviewed in the future.

Tourist Guidelines

Antarctica is protected by the Antarctic Treaty, which maintains Antarctica as a place reserved for peaceful and scientific purposes.

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Press Enquiries

We love to talk about the important heritage work that we do, telling the story of life in Antarctica both past and present. If you are interested in running a story about us, would like to arrange an interview, use our images or films, or want to discuss an opportunity to collaborate then get in touch.

For all press enquiries, please contact or +44 (0) 203 411 28 89. For urgent press enquires out of office hours, please call +44 (0) 203 2 89 89 01.