WildTrack (wildtrack.org) was founded in 2004 by conservation biologists Drs Sky Alibhai and Zoe Jewell after years of collecting data from tracking black rhino in Zimbabwe, Africa. Their data showed that invasive monitoring (darting and collaring) was negatively impacting female fertility. Working with indigenous trackers they instead developed a footprint identification technique (FIT) that is able to identify species, individuals, sex and age-class just from footprints.
Our WildTrack Specialist Group community of more than 20 professional conservation biologists focuses on non-invasive, and community-based technologies.
One of our approaches is footprint identification technology (FIT). Footprints are many times easier to find than the animals themselves, and can inform on their numbers and distribution. Our morphometric and AI models can provide accuracies of >90% in classifying by species, individual, sex and age-class. These data are made available for species protection and the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict.
We maximise data collection by engaging a wide range of participants from scientists, recreational citizen scientists, eco-tourists and expert trackers who often hold valuable traditional ecological knowledge.
Our hands-off, animal-friendly approach also reduces the risk of human:other species transmission of viruses and reduces the risk of future pandemics