When viewing Antarctic wildlife, it is important to keep your distance. For one thing, the Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic requires it – and it’s important for your personal safety. Your presence changes the animals’ behavior, so the further back you keep, the more natural the animal will act. While wildlife may not seem to be concerned about your presence you may in fact be causing it considerable stress. A single thoughtless gesture can cause the loss of an egg or chick to a predator, or the crushing of a seal pup by a frightened adult. Another reason to keep back is that your photos won’t turn out as well if you press in too close – the animals are more likely to move, blurring your picture.
International measures adopted in 1964 provide overall protection for animal and plant species in Antarctica. No animal or plant in Antarctica may be collected or killed without a license, except in an emergency as food.