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About Wildlife Heritage Areas

A Wildlife Heritage Area is an outstanding wildlife watching destination where local people recognise their natural heritage with a deep sense of pride and play a central role in protecting wild animals and their habitats.

As animal welfare and sustainable tourism in general become more important for the travelling public, Wildlife Heritage Areas will identify places that meet the highest standards of animal welfare, wildlife conservation, community well-being, and sustainability, whilst also maintaining high tourism value.

By coming together to reconnect with, protect and respect nature, Wildlife Heritage Areas will help turn the tide on biodiversity loss and wildlife suffering by demonstrating the power of local communities to help solve the planet’s most urgent issues.

Wildlife Heritage Areas is a global programme developed by World Animal Protection and the World Cetacean Alliance. The concept was born out of the success of the Whale Heritage Sites programme.

Initiated by the World Cetacean Alliance in 2015, and run in partnership with World Animal Protection since 2019, Whale Heritage Sites showcase an entire community and their relationship with whales and dolphins by encouraging respectful human-cetacean coexistence – celebrating cetaceans in local culture, arts and events; supporting local economic and environmental sustainability; and developing locally based science, research and education. 

For more information

Wildlife Heritage Areas introduction presentation

Wildlife Heritage Areas executive summary