Whose are these footprints?
The conference that will open a window into the fascinating world of tracking in the modern era: a tour and quiz on tracks in the field, pedagogical tools for teaching tracking, tracking as a high-level thinking tool, tracking in Bedouin society, a review of research from Israel and around the world and hands-on tracking workshops. All these will take place in the Tracking Conference at Ramat Hanadiv on Wednesday 27/9/17.
If you are nature lovers who want to make close acquaintance with your local nature, teachers and guides who are looking for innovative and challenging educational tools, professionals who work in management and landscape management in a range of fields such as nature conservation, grazing, forestry or researchers who are interested in learning methods for monitoring wild animals by tracking – this conference is for you.
Tracking is a thinking skill that has accompanied humans from the dawn of mankind. It has been used as a necessary survival tool from prehistoric times when hunter-gatherers tracked the footprints of their prey, and continues to be relevant even after the agricultural revolution, whether we’re talking about a shepherd or about a farmer who grows his food in the field. Urbanization and industrialization have distanced society from the wild, and in the western world tracking has become the exclusive legacy of a few professionals.
The combination of traditional knowledge with modern technological tools has turned modern trackers into important role players in civil society, particularly in the fields of nature conservation and informal education.
At the current rate of species extinction throughout the world, the importance of identifying patterns of rare and endangered species is increasing. Tracking is a cheap, non-invasive tool, suitable for anyone; it enables gathering of information on the presence and habits of various animals, even if they are sparsely distributed or act secretly. For this reason it has become popular in monitoring and in citizen science projects. Furthermore, this simple tool can be combined with advanced technological tools and increases their effectiveness: for example, identification of active trails on which to install trail cameras, or scats that belong to a specific animal, from which DNA can be extracted.
Similarly, tracking is a significant tool for environmental education. This kind of guiding combines thinking skills and activation of the senses, giving hikers the experience of becoming familiar with wild animals without having to observe them directly and without disturbing the animals. For pupils, footprints and field marks are a collection of endless riddles that challenge the senses and the imagination.
The conference is designed to map this field, to provide tools for fieldwork, and to establish uniform standards in Israel with respect to, and coming into line with, the accepted standards in Europe and the USA.
for registration click the invitation