Ever wondered what wildlife is on your property? Join the TLC's Wildtracker program!
WildTracker – A Tasmanian Land Conservancy Initiative
Technology is revolutionising the way we can monitor wildlife, with devices such as motion-sensor cameras and smartphone applications now a standard feature in the ecological tool-kit. Incorporating these technologies with citizen-science can bring out the inner scientist in all of us, while providing researchers with access to new data and land managers with vital information on species needing greater protection.
Tasmania is home to amazing and unique wildlife – 33 species of mammal and over 180 species of bird. Many of our species, like the eastern quoll and forty-spotted pardalote, are found nowhere else in the world. But human activities such as land clearing, climate change and urbanisation, along with feral species such as cats, rabbits and deer pose a major threat to native species. Wildlife monitoring is essential to protecting our native species by providing vital information about where animals occur and how populations are faring over time.
WildTracker is an ecological monitoring system developed by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. It is a citizen science program, trialled in southeast Tasmania in 2016-17 and now being rolled out state-wide. TLC is working with landholders across Tasmania to establish a network of long-term wildlife monitoring sites on private land. The information collected by WildTracker™ will besed to identify wildlife hotspots and target conservation activities to important areas in the landscape.
WildTracker has 8 components:
- Attending a workshop to learn wildlife monitoring techniques and meet other conservation-minded people – TLC hosts regular workshops state-wide
- Identifying a monitoring site - we provide property maps and advice on site selection so that when you get home you can choose the perfect spot
- Setting a motion-sensor camera for native and feral animals, we loan you a camera for a month to capture wildlife activity 24/7
- Photo-repeat monitoring of vegetation using a digital camera or smartphone to create a visual history of habitat change over time
- Acoustic monitoring of birds and frogs - capture a dawn chorus with a digital sound recorder
- Analysing the data - become a volunteer and receive training in wildlife identification and image tagging software (optional)
- Sharing the results – TLC produces an annual report for participants and uploads data to the Natural Values Atlas, making it accessible to researchers and other conservation agencies
- Protecting wildlife – conservation advice is available through this program or become a member of Land for Wildlife
Private landholders have an important role in protecting our native wildlife. Monitoring is a big job that is made a lot easier by sharing the load. By getting involved in WildTracker you can help us identify important areas for wildlife and make a big difference for conservation!
Please contact Matt Taylor to register your interest in WildTracker (firstname.lastname@example.org)