One of the primary activities of the San Diego Tracking Team is the quarterly Wildlife
Track and Sign Survey. Since 1996, SDTT volunteers have been monitoring habitat
by collecting data on the presence of key mammal species. To learn more about the
history of the SDTT and the need for
especially in a fragmented habitat, please look
around througout the site.
SDTT wildlife surveys are conducted quarterly by our highly-trained transect leaders
with the help of community volunteers. A transect is the basic unit of our wildlife
survey; in short, it is a designated section of trail approximately one mile in
length and 30 feet in width. Most of our approximately 50 transects are surveyed
either two or four times per year. Transects are surveyed and data is recorded according
to our strict protocol.
SDTT’s protocol for wildlife monitoring has been approved by California Department
of Fish and Game (CDFG), US Fish and Wildlife, Conservation Biology Institute (CBI)
and the City and County of San Diego, all represented on SDTT’s Scientific Advisory
Group. Our data has been accepted in the identification and design of wildlife corridors
to be protected. A recent study for CDFG administered by CBI (3/2003) concluded
that our protocol was more effective at documenting presence and abundance of a
broad range of mammals than alternative methods.
We are always welcoming new volunteers for our wildlife surveys. Free
volunteer trainings are held quarterly on the third Saturday in
January, April, July, and October. After participating in this training (or equivalent)
volunteers are welcome to participate in as many transects as they’d like, both
for the current survey period and in the future. The
Wildlife Survey Schedule
is usually available at the time of the volunteer training, but it is often revised
over the course of the survey period.