Coastal Animal Tracking
with instructor David Moskowitz
2019 Dates: TBD
From the tiniest shrews to bears and cougars, the signs of wild animals are around us year-round, waiting to be discovered by the observant outdoor adventurist. Humans’ unique ability to find, interpret and follow the tracks and signs of wildlife is a skill that has been a fundamental part of our relationship with the natural world from the beginnings of our species. Tracking knowledge continues to be a fundamental field skill in contemporary wildlife research and management, hunting, recreation and environmental education.
In this three day workshop (Friday evening until Sunday noon), participants train in the fundamental field skills to reliably and consistently identify and interpret wildlife tracks and other signs. The class covers how to use wildlife tracking to explore the unique biology and ecological relationships of local wildlife species to each other and their environment. How to apply wildlife tracking to help directly observe wildlife is introduced.
David Moskowitz is author and photographer of Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest and Wolves in the Land of Salmon (Timber Press). He is a certified Track and Sign Specialist through Cybertracker Conservation International, the international standard for wildlife tracking certification, for which he is also an evaluator. David works as a biologist, photographer, and educator across North America and beyond. Find out more about his work at davidmoskowitz.net.
Weekend Schedule (subject to change):
Darwin's Cafe at the Tofino Botanical Gardens
· Overview of the contemporary field of wildlife tracking and its historical root.
· Introduction to animal foot morphology and track identification methods
· Track patterns and animal locomotion
Note: this evening talk will be open to the public. Course participants do not have to pay admission as it is included in the cost of the course.
· Track and sign identification and interpretation in various local habitats.
· Sign tracking and interpretation
· Using wildlife tracking for locating and directly observing wildlife
· Track and Sign tracking in various local habitats
Recommended Equipment and Reading
Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest by David Moskowitz
Field notebook and pencil
Small tape measure
Sturdy footwear (expect to get muddy at some locations)
Appropriate clothing for all day in the field—rain or shine
Course Registration is $280 per person, and includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Here are some photos from past sessions: