September 2023 Specialist Track & Sign Eval

Over the weekend of September 10-11, the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project hosted Senior Tracker and CyberTracker Evaluators Nate Harvey and David Moskowitz for a Track & Sign Specialist Evaluation in the Twin Cities Metro.

Nate and David shepherded our group through 60 very complex and extremely complex questions about tracks, scat, marking behaviors, feeding sign, predation events, skulls, bones, feathers, and nests. Questions covered the tracks or sign of seventeen species of mammals, twelve species of birds, one reptile, and two invertebrates.

Our local group was joined by trackers from Ohio, Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin. A huge thanks to everyone who participated in the evaluation, and to Mike Holtz and Alison Zaccardi who assisted throughout the weekend. Congratulations to all the participants, many of whom achieved their highest ever score on a Specialist evaluation. Three trackers earned their Track & Sign Specialist certification in this (slightly urban) northern forest ecosystem:

Back row, left to right: Kirsten Welge, Nate Harvey, Kathy Dean, Sandy Reed, Eric Vehe, Maria Wesserle, Bill Kass. Front row: Abel Bean, Nicholas WazeeGale, Jonathan Poppele, Jonathan Shapiro, David Moskowitz

An acorn opened by a Blue Jay

Overlapping tracks of a River Otter

Gray Squirrel digging--most likely burying a nut

Southern Flying Squirrel latrine

Mourning Dove tracks

Discussing the details of a canid track