North Cascades National Park Wildlife Tracking Certification

In mid-June North Cascades Institute hosted the first Wildlife Tracking Certification Event in North Cascades National Park. Besides a diversity of tracks and signs some challenging field conditions including some classic North Cascades rain and multi-element bushwacking/wading added to the experience for myself as the evaluator and for participants! Here are a few of the highlights from the Evaluation.

The right front foot of a mink (Neovison vison) in fine glacial silt found close to the mouth of Thunder Creek.
These tracks of a Douglas squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) were found just down the shore from the mink.
This unusual sign of a beaver (Castor canadensis) in the riparian forest along Thunder Creek stumped many.
Roger Bean, who earned a Level III Track and Sign Certification contemplates the beaver feeding sign during the evaluation.
The weathered track of a black bear (Ursus americanus).
Terry Kem, founder of Deerdance, earned a Level III Cerftication as well on the evaluation, seen here photographing a sign post tree well used by black bears along Thunder Creek.
Moose (Alces alces) are rarely sighted in western portion of the North Cascades, but these pellets indicate one had passed by the Easy Pass Trailhead along the North Cascades Scenic Highway.
Scat from a bushytailed woodrat (left, Neotoma cinerea) and a pika (Ochotona princeps) were both discovered in a large talus field.
Susan Brown, a graduate student in the North Cascades Institutes Masters of Education program, assisted with the evaluation. Pictured here by a powerline pole that had been bitten and rubbed on by black bears.


Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Evaluation. Of 10 participants, 3 Level III , 3 Level II , and one Level I certificates were awarded. For a list of certified trackers in North America click here.

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