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Jasper National Park of Canada

Photography

Give them room! Watch for signs of defensive behaviour that indicate you are stressing the animal.
© Parks Canada

Early and late in the day is usually the best time for photography and nature watching. Please treat the landscape and its inhabitants with respect; stay on established trails to avoid trampling vegetation and always give wildlife plenty of space.

Code of Conduct

Important guidelines for safe and respecful wildlife viewing

Photographers who travel the park in search of good photo opportunities have a special responsibility to wildlife and fellow visitors. The following guidelines will help you be a good park steward.

Average viewing distances

All wild animals experience stress when crowded by humans. This is hard on the animal and dangerous. Wildlife behaviour is unpredictable, especially when females are with young and males are defending territory during the mating season.

The following distances are applicable in most instances. However, it is your responsibility to watch for defensive warning signals and react accordingly by pulling back or leaving the area entirely. In general, stay back:

  • 100 metres from bears (unless you are inside a vehicle);
  • 30 metres from all other large species;
  • 200 metres from coyote, fox or wolf dens.

If you spot the following defensive warning signals, pull back even more or leave the area:

  • Bears make a 'woofing' noise, growl and snap their jaws;
  • Bull elk and moose put their heads down and paw at the ground;
  • Cow elk flatten their ears, stare directly at you and raise their rump hair.

If you cause an animal to move, you are too close .

Additional guidelines

  • Do not surround, crowd or follow an animal.
  • If you don’t have a telephoto lens (at least 300-400 mm), show the animal in its natural surroundings. Note: The best way to safely photograph wildlife is from a vehicle or observation area.
  • Never put people (especially children) at risk by posing them with wildlife.
  • Do not stalk or pursue wildlife.
  • Never follow an animal into the bush.
  • Do not try to entice wildlife by feeding or by simulating animal calls (i.e. elk bugling).

Traffic and parking

Use roadside pull-offs and parking areas to help avoid traffic congestion around wildlife.

If you MUST stop on the road:

  • Pull vehicles well onto the shoulder;
  • Avoid stopping along roadways during periods of high traffic volume;
  • Do not stop at or near hill crests, corners or sharp curves and intersections;
  • Do not trample vegetated areas.

Photographers for Wild life

If you see violations, please report them to the Jasper Warden Office at 780.852.6155. Take note of vehicle type and colour, licence plate number and other relevant information.

Commercial Photography

Please note that special permits are required for commercial filming and photography.
For more information, click here, or contact our Business Liaison, Grant Potter, at 780-852-6151.