Booking for the 2022 ITS available now via our partners at the Dutch Mammal Society
The Agenda for this years ITS can be found here
Further details of our presenters can be found below
Ángel Javier España Báez: Tracking the Iberian wolf
Angel shares information gathered over several years making tours of different areas of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park Madrid, locating signs, scats, etc of the presence of Iberian Wolf, to conduct a study on its trophic ecology in the Park. We have put the tracking at the service of science and research.
Angel is a teacher and biologist and has been working on wildlife tracking for more than 20 years, mainly the carnivores group. He is the author of 3 books on carnivore tracking in Spanish and I work in the mountains of central Spain.”
Dan Puplett Bird Language – interpreting calls and behaviours as an aid to tracking
Interpreting calls and behaviour of birds and other wildlife is an important aspect of tracking. Learning to read this ‘language’ can help us to understand more about what’s going on in the landscape and to see more wildlife. In this presentation we will cover a variety of calls and behaviours as well as looking at a range of different alarm sequences. This knowledge can help us predict which animals are in the area while reducing our own disturbance. Dan will share some of his experiences and observations from the last two decades of studying bird language.
Dan is a naturalist, conservationist and environmental educator. He has a Level IV in Track & Sign and is the author of the FSC Guide to British Bird Tracks & Signs chart. Dan teaches tracking and naturalist skills to a wide audience, including conservation organisations, and applies tracking in wildlife surveys. He is involved in a range of rewilding projects and is also an instructor for the Kamana Naturalist Training Programme. He founded Dan Puplett Nature Awareness in 2011.
Robin Rigg: Tracking in Conservation
Using wolves in Slovakia as an example, this presentation will demonstrate how systematic tracking can play a major role in research, monitoring and conservation. Robin will share the results of the White Wilderness programme (hyperlink: http://slovakwildlife.org/en/activities/whitewilderness), which trains volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ to help conduct non-invasive surveys of large carnivores and their prey. Participants learn how to identify and record tracks and to find and collect biological samples for DNA and other analyses which provide a sound evidence-base for wildlife management.
Robin is a zoologist and conservationist with a strong interest in the interactions of wildlife, especially carnivores, with human communities. He is chairman of the Slovak Wildlife Society (hyperlink: http://slovakwildlife.org/) and a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (hyperlink: https://www.lcie.org/). Robin uses tracking to monitor wolves, lynx, bears and other wildlife and achieved Level III in Track & Sign at the first CyberTracker evaluation event in Slovakia in 2013. He is currently working towards his doctorate at the University of Ljubljana.
Sören Decraene, Identifying Mammal Skulls
This lecture will delve into the world of animal skulls and how to recognize species. It will contain a lot of pictures and compare species have similar skulls and show you how you can tell them apart by noticing often subtle differences.
Sören is a Cybertracker T&S level 4 and level 2 trailing an outdoor enthusiast and nature photographer. He moved to Sweden from Belgium in November 2021 so very excited to go out tracking in this new environment! you can learn about his adventure on his facebook page The swedish Wildlife Tracker.D
Diliana Welink Insect Sign
In this presentation Diliana explores this fascinating subject of insect sign. You can find them everywhere and at anytime. They tell about the wildlife surrounding us.
Diliana is Level 3 CyberTracker track and sign, MSc Biology, a Certified Naturalist and entomologist. She is fascinated by the role of insects in this world and their relations with different kinds of species.
Ed Drewitt Being an urban peregrine diet detective – what secrets does it reveal?
In this presentation Ed will reveal how even the trickiest or smallest of clues can help identify what urban-dwelling peregrines have been eating, and what stories these reveal.
Ed has been studying urban-dwelling peregrines for 23 years and is currently doing a part-time PhD at the University of Bristol UK looking at what they eat. Ed is a freelance naturalist, showing people wildlife both in the UK and abroad, and a learning advisor, developing learning resources and tool kits of wildlife organisations. Ed is also author of Raptor Prey Remains and Urban Peregrines (just published).
Nate Harvey :Seeing the Landscape and Seeing the Animal
Nate Harvey discusses how evasions that we can read in animal trails teach us to see the landscape as the animal might see it. He discuss how this way of seeing the landscape can help us to see the animal, and how seeing landscape features, like seeing tracks, can distract us from that goal.
Nate Harvey evaluates trackers for CyberTracker Conservation in both Trailing and Track & Sign Identification. Additionally, he teaches Trailing in workshops near his home in southern Vermont and around America
Oded Davidovich: Introduction to Aging tracks and signs
Some trackers see tracking as an art (and science), in my mind “aging”- knowing when the tracks were made – is the art within the art. I will try to give some guidelines for practicing this skill.
Oded has been practicing and teaching Tracking for more than 10 years in Israel, South Africa and Belgium. He has introduced both children and adults to tracking, and has trained professional trackers and field rangers. He is a professional tracker from the Cybertracker organization and very passionate about tracking and trailing animals, always learning and exploring new environments, animals and substrates. He regularly publishes his experiences and adventures in the field in his page and has a tracking website. (Oded is currently based in Turkey).
Bernd Shelker: Hunting in early human evolution – Bipedie, persistence hunting and endurance running
What were the evolutionary events and conditions that led to the fact that the hominids in the Plio-Pleistocene transition perfected the two-legged gait about 2-3 million years ago? How did our ancestors succeed from the subsistence strategy of kleptoparasitism and mere foraging to become the most feared hunters and what role did tracking play in their evolutionary course?
Bernd is currently self employed and working for environmental offices. Mapping and Monitoring birds. He attended Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Studiying an MA in Physical Anthropology, Biology and Philosophy. In addition he is the founder and owner of NATURWERK providing wildlife Courses and education programs in human Evolution
Annelies van Ginkel: On the use of camera traps and browsing patterns for scientific research.
Annelies has studied In the Bialowieza forest, Poland for five years the direct influence of wolves on deer behavior and their subsequent indirect effect on tree regeneration. To determine the deer behavior I used camera traps and I determined browsing patterns to study the effect of deer browsing on the regeneration of different tree species. In this talk I will explain how I used signs and camera traps to study the effects of wolves on lower trophic levels and share the results.
Annelies is an ecologist with a main interest in predator-prey and herbivore-plant interactions. As researcher I have worked for seven years at the University of Groningen. I find it fascinating to use tracks and signs to learn more about animal movement and behavior, and see the value of using such signs for research purposes.
Asaf Ben David: Between the Badger and the Honey Badger
Israel has a rich diversity of wildlife from the European to the African and Middle eastern fauna. Moreover, we are blessed by a rich history of trackers from our diverse locale cultures. In my talk, I will share four tracking stories of our tracker’s community on our locale fauna and their impact of tracking knowledge on current nature conservation. From the elusive marbled polecat (Vormela peregusna), the desert monitor (Varanus griseus) in the coastal dunes, tracking illegal poachers of porcupines (Hystrix indica) and mountain gazelle (Gazella gazelle), and a meeting between the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) and the Honey badger (Mellivora capensis) on the desert meadow.
Asaf is a Ph.D. Student at the zoology school of Tel-Aviv university. A member of the Wild track research group. The author of the Israeli track and sings field guide and the founder of Makommifgash.org, the leading community of wildlife trackers in Israel.
Casey McFarland: Journey to Specialist
Casey shares his perceptions after running more than thirty Specialist CyberTracker evaluations. For anyone working towards this highest level of the assessed CyberTracker evaluation systems, Caseys insights will be invaluable.
Casey has run over 140 Evaluations and given trainings in 8 countries, and as an External Evaluator he oversees Track & Sign Specialist Evaluations. He was integral to the establishment CyberTracker Europe, and currently sits as President of CyberTracker North America.
Zoe Jewell and Sky Alibhai: Demonstration of Wild Tracks Footprint Identification Technology
An introduction to WildTrack’s non-invasive Footprint Identification Technology which consists of both morphometric and AI components, and including a demonstration of the analytical processes. A warm invitation will be extended to all participants who might be interested in contributing to this project!
Zoe Jewell, WildTrack co-founder, has an M.Sc in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (London University) and a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Cambridge. She has published widely on wild animal monitoring using non-invasive approaches and animal monitoring ethics. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, and an Associate Academic at the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
Sky Alibhai, WildTrack co-founder, has a B.Sc. in Zoology from Makerere University, Uganda, and a D.Phil in small mammal population dynamics from the University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Zoological Society of London and a member of the Society of Conservation Biology and has published widely on wild animal monitoring using non-invasive approaches. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, and an Associate Academic at the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
Larissa Slaney: Saving Cheetahs One Footprint at a Time How footprint analysis can help cheetah conservation
This talk is about Larissa’s current PhD research in cheetah footprint analysis, the ‘Fit Cheetahs’ project at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK. The study uses WildTrack’s Footprint Identification Technology (FIT) to try to determine whether we can tell relatedness of individual cheetahs as well as their sex and subspecies from their footprints. The talk will cover an introduction to the cheetah conservation situation, explain the study’s methodology, what is so far possible with FIT and share preliminary results.
Larissa is a Conservation Biologist with a BSc (Honours) in Life Sciences and a great interest in wildlife tracking. She recently passed her Level 1 in Track & Sign with John Rhyder and is also a founding member of the WildTrack Specialist Group. For her ‘Fit Cheetahs’ research project, she spent time in Namibia and the UAE to collect footprints from known, captive cheetahs. In Namibia she also had the opportunity to track wild cheetahs, and spotted hyena. Larissa also works in science communication with Hands on Science and has developed a workshop for them on Biological Diversity for primary schools.
“Tracking knowledge makes me a better biologist and I think it is essential for wildlife conservation research in general.”
Frederick Kistner:Trailing Coastal Otters in Portugal
How trailing data can be used to monitor individual otters, estimate population size and how images of trails and footprints can help developing artificial intelligence-based tracking software as a conservation monitoring tool. Demo Variance of the appearance of a footprint from a single trail when exposed to coastal elements. Illustration of general T&S of otters in coastal habitat.
Fredricks talk focusses on how trackers can contribute with trail images to the WildTrack AI Project! And what insights can be gathered with these images and classification models like the Footprint Identification Technology (FIT).
Fredrick as been working with Otters for more than 10 years describing himself as hybrid of Conservation Biologist and Data scientist; new to the tracking community and currently receiving training by Josha Grolms. He has a Diploma in Environmental Science with focus on conservation biology.
Bob Cowley: A Simplified Guide to Holes in the Ground
Over the last few years, I have developed a method for introducing this potentially complicated topic to beginners in a simple, engaging, and memorable way. I believe that other tracking instructors may also find this technique useful, and although it was developed with the UK fauna in mind, the ideas can easily be adapted for your own locality.
As Chair of Oxfordshire Mammal Group, I organise a variety of outreach events, including public talks by leading experts. And to reach a wider audience, last year I created our own YouTube channel, where you can see many of our past talks for free. But my personal obsession is Track & Sign, and having achieved CyberTracker T&S Level 3, I have led workshops for Oxford University, The Mammal Society, The Field Studies Council, and a variety of other national, regional and local wildlife organisations.
John Rhyder: Introduction to Trailing
In this presentation John explains some basic principles in finding and following animal trails in Northern Europe. For anyone relatively new to this art, the how trail, what to do when the trail is lost and equally importantly when to stop trailing and go looking for the animal can seem mysterious. hopefully this will help address some of these issues.
John is a wildlife tracker, author, naturalist and woodsman. He has been teaching since 1992 and offers courses through his company Woodcraft School. He is both senior tracker and evaluator in North West Europe for CyberTracker International.
Daniel Hansche: Tracking & Perception
Whether collecting data, taking an evaluation, or keeping guests safe, jumping to conclusions and interpreting before we observe so often stands in the way of the tracker. We’ll spend time exploring our perception as trackers through a few practices that can help us to see more in the tracks, signs, & trails we encounter.
Daniel lives in Berlin and runs Spur Wander internationally. Their work includes running Track & Sign evaluations through Cyber Tracker North America, teaching tracking intensives with Hidden Tracks in Germany, and offering various courses in the USA. Daniel’s passion for tracking is in honing the art of perception; increasing our ability to observe and our understanding of when the time to interpret has arrived.
Paul Wernicke: Tracking birds.
In this presentation Paul will take you on a journey into the miraculous world of bird tracks. Bird tracks & sign are often encountered during our time in the field. Behind the beauty of every find lies a story. With a little knowledge of where to start reading that story, you will learn more about the secret lives in our environment.
Paul is certified Level 3 in Track & Sign by Cybertracker, founder and leader of “Wildnisschule Hoher Fläming”, and a naturalist and lover of birds and their secret language. He also uses tracking to contribute to regional wolf monitoring. His studies focus on the question of how humans can coexist in a respectful manner with the natural world in cultivated and civilized environments, to allow more wilderness back into our lives.”
René Nauta: Collecting and preserving Track & Sign
Imagine yourself, in the field, where you just found a beautiful otter track, a crow pellet or a series of feathers.
What if you want to keep that find?In this presentation René will talk you through a series of tips and tricks in how to collect and preserve your finds.
How-to collect tracks in the field (sootplates, ink traps, plaster casts, etc) plus the do’s and don’t-s for making better pictures.
How do I prevent sign from becoming mouldy, or being eaten by all kinds of invertebrates? Hair spray, woodstove, zip locks and all kinds of tricks are some the solutions.
René and his partner Beke own the company ‘EXTRA bushcraft’, celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year.EXTRA will be publishing a 3rd book in November, next to the ‘Bushcraft Handbook’ (2015) and ‘Het Prentenboek’ (2019 – elaborate field guide with tracks of mammals, birds, reptiles/amfibians and invertebrates).
He is a passionate CyberTracker evaluator in North West Europe (Track & Sign).