Carnivore Tracking Training For Wildlife Professionals

Course Overview

Course Length: 2-3 days (depending on specific species and field locations being covered).

Class Size: Up to 15 participants.

This two or three day training is designed to give wildlife biologists and land managers tools for identifying and documenting the tracks and signs of various species of carnivores of management concern found in the western North America including wolves, wolverines, grizzly bears, lynx, fisher, and marten. Applying tracking methods to remote camera installation and managing reports from the public are also covered. Specific content and field sites are tailored to the location and needs of the hosting organization. Course includes classroom and field components.

Course Content

  • Track and sign identification methods: foot morphology, track patterns, contextual interpretation, interpretation methods for non-track sign.
  • Track and sign of target species such as wolf, cougar, grizzly bear, wolverine, lynx, red fox, fisher, marten.
  • Wildlife tracking techniques/methods for the following applications: 
    • Guiding camera trap location and set up.
    • Collecting track data in conjunction with camera traps.
    • Study area reconnaissance and anecdotal observations.
    • Ground truthing habitat models and historical records of target species.
    • Follow up on sightings from the public and public education.
  • Photography and field documentation of tracks and signs for: 
    • Supporting evidence of field identification.
    • Data for external analysis

Course Schedule

(adjustments may be made based upon field conditions at specific location at time of the training)

Day 1

Morning: FieldIntroduction to field methods, track and sign identification and interpretationLate Afternoon: ClassroomReview of morning content, Introduction of Photo-documentation methods

Day 2

Morning: ClassroomTracks and Signs of Target Species (slideshow/Q&A)Midday-Afternoon: FieldTarget Species Focused Field activities

Day 3

Morning: FieldApplications Workshop: selecting camera locations, inventorying track and sign on site, documentation methodsAfternoon: ClassroomPublic sightings, public education, Miscellaneous topics