Conservation FIT

We need your help!

ConservationFIT is WildTrack’s project to collect footprints. These will give us reliable data on numbers and distribution of endangered species to protect and monitor them.
If you see footprints while out hiking, or as part of your job, please join us to help map endangered species around the world, and to develop FIT to help monitor those species.

 

Why footprints?  Think about this:  A big cat might easily cover 20km in a day.  The chances of you seeing the animal are often very small but she is leaving behind many footprints, which can stay in the substrate for 2-3 days.  The chances of spotting the footprints are much higher than seeing the big cat.  Each footprint is a tiny microcosm of information about that cat – her species, sex, ID and age-class.  We can use those data to understand who she is, where she goes, and how to protect her.

The Advantages of ConservationFIT

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  • It is non-invasive
    It is non-invasive
    Collecting footprints need not disturb the animal in any way. Our research and that of others increasingly suggests that repeated disturbance and handling will have a negative impact on the species being studied.
    It can identify
    It can identify…
    The species, individual, sex and age-class.
    It gives high accuracy
    It gives high accuracy
    For all species studied, FIT gives individual identification accuracy of more than 90%.
    It is cost-effective
    It is cost-effective
    The only equipment needed is a smartphone, a scale, and either voice-tag or pen and pencil.
    FIT is community-based
    FIT is community-based
    Drawing on the skills of local traditional ecological knowledge
    FIT is species adaptable
    FIT is species adaptable
    To date, we have developed FIT algorithms 14 species including the black rhino, white rhino, Bengal and Amur tiger, cheetah, mountain lion, Lowland and Baird’s Tapirs and Polar bear. All indications are that the technique is adaptable and applicable for all species that leave footprints.