Viewers captivated by wildlife documentaries like Blue Planet II are increasingly disturbing coastal wildlife, conservationists claim.
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust said the “amazing” programmes may have inadvertently inspired people to get too close to animals in their habitats.
Wildlife disturbances on the Cornish coast rose by a third in 2017 to 150, figures show.
The BBC, which makes Blue Planet, declined to comment.
Sue Sayer, from the seal trust, said: “The wonderful recent wildlife coverage on programmes like Blue Planet and Springwatch give us an amazing and close-up insight into previously unknown aspects of our vulnerable wildlife’s behaviour.
“In no way am I criticising the coverage in these programmes, I am only emphasising that we, as members of the public, should not aim to replicate this kind of close-up encounter,” she said.
Wildlife watching tips
- Approach slowly and quietly from one side and behind animals, such as dolphins and basking sharks
- Don’t get too close – about 330ft (100m) is a sensible minimum distance from any animals
- If you see any sign of disturbance – move away steadily and quietly
- Don’t stay too long – 15 minutes is a sensible amount of time
- Move away slowly and quietly
Source: The WiSe Scheme