Did you know that Daley Ranch has a tracking team? Its mission is to encourage lovers of Daley Ranch to learn about, appreciate, and help protect its wildlife and their habitat, as well as to provide the preserve managers with scientifically rigorous information that can be used in decision-making about this unique habitat. Daley Ranch is situated at the western edge of an east-west wildlife corridor of largely undeveloped land that runs from Escondido through Lake Wohlford, Rancho Guejito, and Julian, ultimately connection with our local desert to the east and other open spaces to the north and south.
The Daley Ranch Tracking Team has been performing quarterly wildlife surveys in and around the ranch since 2004, looking for sign of a range of animals, from mountain lions to burrowing owls, animals whose presence or absence is believed to provide important information on the health of this habitat. We are working to grow our local community of tracker naturalists. Beyond birding and plant identification, a tracker naturalist learns how to look at the whole picture – the interaction of wildlife species and their habitat, and the impact of human activity on both.
There are new and exciting opportunities for Citizen Scientists at the Ranch, from laying out and performing new wildlife surveys, to installing and maintaining trail cameras, to conducting monthly introductory tracking walks for the public, to contributing to the new Daley Ranch project on iNaturalist, to facilitating and attending regular “dirt time” tracking practice, to collaborating with Citizen Scientists from nearby preserves and conservancies on matters of mutual interest.
You can take the first step to becoming a Daley Ranch Tracker Naturalist by attending a free tracking training at the Ranch on Saturday morning, March 11. We will be in the field from 8 am to noon, learning to recognize the signs animals leave all around us. We’ll have some neat tracker naturalist resources for you to use and keep, so we need firm RSVPs to make sure we have enough! You can RSVP to our event listing on the Daley Ranch Tracking Team Facebook page, or email the tracking team leader at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you there!