WildTrack has developed a non-invasive Footprint Identification Technique (FIT) which can identify endangered animals at the species, individual, age-class and sex levels. Animals have unique feet, in the same way that humans have unique fingerprints. This allows us to monitor their status and work with decision-makers in environmental and conservation sciences to implement effective policies.Polar bear front view
Using footprints to monitor endangered species is non-invasive and cost-effective. It is therefore a sustainable solution, particularly for elusive species, and sustainability is vital if conservation is to be successful. Moreover, since FIT is based on the ancient tracking techniques used by indigenous trackers, it engages local communities in the conservation effort – this too is generally recognised to be essential to the success of any wildlife conservation effort.
Footprints can be found on a variety of different substrates. This left front footprint image from a Polar bear illustrates the excellent detail which can be obtained, even in snow, one of the most challenging substrates to work with.
WildTrack has projects helping develop and implement FIT across the world, from the Polar bear in the Arctic to the mountain lion in Texas, to the cheetah in Southern Africa…..even the tiny dormouse in the UK.
Helping us in our work are experts in computer vision, statistics, software and design engineering, forensics, biometrics, photography and the life sciences. Why not explore our site and come join us?!