Wildlife is all around us in the Bay Area. Diverse species of animals filter through our urban landscapes, crossing the boundaries of our homes, cities and the protected landsthat surround our region. Whether you are visiting your local parks and preserves on the San Francisco Bay, the coast, the Santa Cruz mountains or the Diablo Range, there’s a great chance you’ll see wildlife, or at least signs of them. But how many of us can accurately identify these signs of wildlife, or use these signs to paint a picture of what’s going on in nature?
Join Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (OSA) as we welcome local wildlife researchers Tanya Diamond and Ahiga Sandoval of Pathways for Wildlife to share practical wildlife tracking skills with our community. They will share knowledge of how to identify various types of common wildlife tracks and other signs, and deepen your understanding of the wildlife communities living in our local landscapes.
Through Pathways for Wildlife, Tanya and Ahiga are conducting groundbreaking wildlife research on the Peninsula, in the South Bay and further afield with a variety of nonprofits and public agency partners, including POST, Midpen and OSA. Using camera traps, wildlife collaring technology and other methods, Pathways for Wildlife is constructing a complex picture of how wildlife move across our landscape, and what we need to do to enhance the health of these animal communities. They have conducted incredible research and captured incredible imagery with their camera traps, including the now famous viral “Coyote & Badger” video!
Wildlife tracking is one of the many skills in Tanya and Ahiga’s toolbox as they survey the land and help organizations like ours plan for the health of our local wildlife. These two, 1 hour webinars are a rare chance to learn tracking from two local heroes of wildlife research.
Wildlife Tracking Part 1 Friday June 11 – Tracking Basics and a story about Badgers
We will learn a basic framework for where and when to look for wildlife signs, the different types of signs to look for and some of the basic tracks you might see from a variety of local species. Tanya and Ahiga will also share some stories about how they are successfully tracking and monitoring one of the most elusive creatures in our region: the American badger!
Wildlife Tracking Part 2 Friday July 9 – Advanced Tracking and Wildlife Connectivity
We will expand on what we learned in Part 1 with more specifics about how to identify signs from some of the more challenging local species to track, and other tips for how to spot wildlife movement in our area. The Pathways for Wildlife Team will also share some details about the extensive wildlife movement studies they are conducting along major wildlife corridors in the region.
When you register for part one of the Wildlife Tracking Basics with Pathways for Wildlife, you will be registered for both part one and part two.
Tanya Diamond, a Wildlife Ecologist, has developed a research organization, Pathways for Wildlife, with her research partner Ahiga Sandoval. Tanya received her MS in Conservation Biology & Ecology from San Jose State University. Her research and work involves creating wildlife linkage designs through wildlife surveys and GIS analysis. To implement these designs, she then collaborates with conservation organizations, such as land trusts, and transportation agencies to acquire funding to install wildlife crossing structures, such as culverts, for animals to move safely underneath roads and funding to preserve habitats within linkages areas that wildlife are using.
Ahíga Sandoval is Co-Principal and a Wildlife Researcher at Pathways for Wildlife. Ahíga works closely with land use planners to help inform them of conservation strategies with project research and data results. Ahíga also specializes in conducting field meetings with project partners in working on acquiring funds for the conservation of habitat linkages and ways to install wildlife crossing structures on highways for animals to safely cross the road.
This event is part of POST’s community event series, which is open to the general public as well as POST donors. We hope you’ll join us! We also curate a separate series of private events for our donors. Learn how you can support POST here: openspacetrust.org/support-post
Peninsula Open Space Trust protects and cares for open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Since 1977, POST has protected over 80,000 acres in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.
The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority works to protect the quality of life in Santa Clara County by preserving open space and natural resources. Since 1993, the Authority has protected over 25,000 acres of open space, natural areas, watersheds, and wildlife habitat – providing ecologically friendly outdoor recreation and preserving the natural beauty and environmental health of the Santa Clara Valley.
Pathways for Wildlife is a research organization specializing in identifying, monitoring, and implementing connectivity designs for wildlife movement within a landscape. During the event, we will be displaying videos and photos of their research on wildlife movement in the area.
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is an independent special district in the San Francisco Bay Area that has preserved a regional greenbelt system of over 63,000 acres of public land and manages 26 open space preserves.