The North American CyberTracker Conservation Evaluation System
is a tool designed to establish reliable, standardized wildlife tracking skills. Further, the certification process provides a structure and forum in which to invigorate and enhance one’s field skills and knowledge of natural history, whether you are a biologist, citizen scientists, environmental educator, guide in ecotourism, or a regular citizen interested in the world around you.
Tracker Evaluations recognize
and celebrate wildlife tracking skills as valuable, and encourage their use in conservation research and monitoring, and education. Through the certification process, we hope to identify those most competent in wildlife tracking, and ensure that they are recruited to contribute their skills. Tracking skills currently contribute to conservation efforts (i.e., identifying wildlife corridors, monitoring endangered species), but we believe they could be utilized far more; the larger the number of people with wildlife tracking skills, the greater potential impact that a strong understanding of natural history and community ecology will have on current conservation efforts. In our minds this is intelligent conservation.
Tracker certifications offer the opportunity for personal growth, comprehensive training, and provide an objective test of observer reliability in field research using sign counts recorded by professional scientists and citizen scientists alike.
Evaluations strive to expose participants
to the widest possible diversity of tracks and signs in the area; the format of certification events is entirely field based. This structure provides participants with focused instruction from evaluators in the practical observational techniques and thought processes required to efficiently and accurately interpret tracks and signs found in typical field conditions.
The structure actively engages participants in the process of identification and interpretation of tracks and signs encountered in the field. The candid environment, that defines the discussions of each question during the event, provides the opportunity for participants to share their thoughts openly and ask detailed questions of the evaluator. All evaluators are both exceptionally skilled in the field of wildlife tracking and are also capable communicators who draw on cutting edge research in the fields of wildlife biology and tracking to explain track and sign, animal behavior and natural history in the field.