The San Diego Tracking Team concluded a trial period in the spring of 2006 in partnership
with the SoCal Lion research team from the UC Davis Wildlife Heath Center. We have
now restarted our work scouting for lion tracks and sign. People who are enrolled
in the SDTT Apprentice Program or have attained Tracker or Senior Tracker status
with the SDTT are welcome to participate in this important work.
Regular visits will be scheduled to the areas of interest to search for sign of
lion in the hope of finding adequate evidence of their presence to justify placement
of a carcass by the WHC crew to attract the lion. Once the lion begins feeding,
a trap will be set, the lion captured, and a collar put on—usually a bit more complicated
than that, but you get the idea.
There is a strict protocol in place requiring advanced notification to the governing
parties, a minimum of two trackers on station, and the lead tracker must have been
checked out on the area and our procedures by Barry Martin. Each foray will follow
a progression based on the area covered on the previous outing, and an email report
will be submitted detailing the day’s findings, area searched with GPS points for
any lion sign found, and suggestions for the next outing’s search strategy.
It must be noted that this project requires a high level of performance by team
members. You must be in very good physical condition and willing to hike long distances
over varied terrain. Poison oak, rattlesnakes and ticks are a constant concern,
and the very highest state of tracker awareness is essential to the task at hand.