Ethics & Positions


Nature Photographers and Birders 

Treat the birds, wildlife, plants, and places as if you were their guest.

 Do not disturb birds that are nesting or feeding young.

 Take care not to flush resting or roosting birds — they need their rest, too.

 Respect local, state, and federal laws protecting birds and other wildlife.

 Stay on trails to lessen impacts to vegetation and wildlife.

 Treat others courteously.

 Report inappropriate behavior to the proper authorities.

 Limit use of artificial means to attract birds, especially in heavily birded areas.

 If a bird stops its normal behavior as a result of a birder’s or photographer’s activity, the birder or photographer is intruding and should move away.

 Ask before joining other nature photographers already taking pictures.


Outdoor Cats

The Florida Ornithological Society (FOS) is deeply concerned about the threat that free-roaming domestic cats pose to Florida’s native birds, mammals, and other imperiled wildlife. Domestic cats are non-native carnivores introduced to North America in the 1600’s. Outdoor cats negatively impact both rare and common species and even people throughout Florida. Cats kept indoors are great pets and lead considerably healthier and longer lives than cats allowed to roam outdoors. Accordingly, FOS takes the position that all cats should be kept indoors because of the reasons listed below which are supported by numerous scientific studies.


Fishing Gear and Bird Protection

The Florida Ornithological Society is concerned about the impacts of fishing gear on birds in the state, especially Brown Pelicans. It is well-known that Florida offers spectacular fishing opportunities. Fish-eating birds also flourish, taking advantage of the abundant baitfish populations in Gulf, Atlantic, estuary, and freshwater habitats. The overlap of waterbirds and fishermen, using the same regions and habitats, often leads to conflict, resulting in significant detriment to birds, especially Brown Pelicans.


Wildlife Corridor Connectivity

In July 2021 the ‘Florida Wildlife Corridor Act’ was signed into law. We support increased wildlife corridor connectivity to support the birds of Florida during their nesting, foraging, dispersal, and migration stages. We support continued funding of Florida Forever which is informed by the Florida Ecological Greenways Network and the rich scientific history that has gone into prioritizing connected conservation lands. We encourage municipalities and governments of Florida to include land conservation and corridor connectivity in their comprehensive land use plans and land development regulations. We also support funding for the proper long-term stewardship of public conservation lands which includes funding for prescribed fire and invasive plant reduction.

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