Brian spent a saturday morning at the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s Rio Vista Preserve with the Channel Islands Tracking Team. The team is a group of citizen scientists that have trained in the art of tracking and wildlife sign identification. They use their skills to help public and non-profit land managers understand wildlife usage along Ventura County’s coast.
The Team organizes training, practices, and certification exams for wildlife tracking and sign ID. The Team is looking to grow their numbers, so if you enjoy the outdoors and want to learn the art of tracking, contact the Team at their Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Channel-Islands-Tracking-Team
Or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wildlife tracking is more than just looking at tracks on the ground. Trackers will look more closely at tracks and other signs, such as digging and scratching, to try to determine behaviors and activities of wildlife. A lot can also be learned by assessing the form and contents of animal scat. From scat you can assess the diet of the animal and its digestion efficiency, and this often can tell you what species left it. Beginning trackers will get pretty good at the common species pretty quickly, such as the bobcats, coyote, and foxes. Skilled trackers will be able ID most animals, as well as bugs, reptiles, and amphibians.
Learning to be a good tracker takes time and dedication. From my experience with the team, I can tell you that these are honestly some of the nicest people you can meet, and they all have an un-matched love for the outdoors. If you like the outdoors and want to meet nice people while helping land managers learn about wildlife, you should contact the Channel Islands Tracking team.
CITT Facebook: Channel Islands Tracking Team on Facebook.
CITT Email: email@example.com