“Pursuing” wildlife for a photo
Question: California Fish and Game defines “take” as to “hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill” or attempt to do so. Much discussion and conjecture has been generated amongst wildlife photographers regarding use of the term “pursue” in this definition and how it may apply to them. Some photography and wildlife watching groups have recently gone so far as to recommend their members obtain sporting licenses due to uncertainty surrounding interpretation of the word “pursue.” However, this is of little use if a picture is taken of something that cannot be “taken” under the authority of a sporting license. For example, if a photographer informs a warden they are searching for the endangered southern mountain yellow-legged frog to capture on film with their telephoto lens, could this person be cited for “take” by “attempting to pursue”?
For the sake of discussion, please assume photography is for recreation, habitat is not altered and that wildlife is never touched, possessed or otherwise under the control of the individual behind the lens.
The wildlife watching and photography community would greatly appreciate clarification on this point.