The San Diego Tracking Team hosted a certification event for wildlife trackers based
upon an internationally recognized format on February 4th and 5th, 2006. All 10
of the attendees earned certificates designating skill levels ranging from Track
and Sign 1 to 3, a US record for competency.
Mark Elbroch, author of two award winning books on wildlife tracking, conducted
the testing. Elbroch has earned a Senior Tracker Certificate in Kruger National
Park, South Africa and offers the only rigorous system in North America for certifying
field tracking skills and observer reliability. The Wildlife Tracking in North America
program operates under guidelines of CyberTracker Conservation, a program developed
15 years ago by Louis Liebenberg in South Africa. The primary benefit of certifying
trackers is raising the standards of research in conservation.
Barry Martin and Mike Kresky achieved the highest level of certification, Track
and Sign Level 3. Lee Kirchhevel, John Richards, Bonnie Hendricks and Jesper Pietsch
received Level 2, and Don Rowe, Gary Seiser, Betsy Brack, and Phoenix Von Hendy
also earned Level 1 certificates. Brack, at age 72, holds title to being the most
senior holder of Track and Sign Level 1 certification in the world. Elbroch reported
that the youngest is Makai, age 14 and a member of the Uruke Tracking Group in the
The SDTT will probably be hosting more tracker certification events. See our
of Events for details as they become available.