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Aravaipa Wildlife Tracking Workshop

April 21, 2016, 8:00 am - April 24, 2016, 5:00 pm

$175 – $285

Join us for a four-day get-away in a spectacular Sky Island setting with Sky Island Alliance staff and regional guest experts.  Participants gain hands-on field instruction and theory in a variety of skills and techniques, including:

  • Natural history and conservation of regional animal species, with emphasis on the jaguar, Mexican gray wolf, ocelot, black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, white-nose coati, mexican opossum, badger, desert tortoise, and box turtle;
  • Wildlife track morphology, structure and terminology;
  • Use of global positioning systems (GPS);
  • Photo documentation;
  • Motion-activated wildlife camera monitoring techniques;
  • Track casting and tracing techniques;
  • Animal gaits and movement; and,
  • Hands-on experience with track identification in the field.  

After completing the workshop, you will have the skills to identify wildlife tracks and to document what you discover.  In addition, we will show you how you can put these skills to use for immediate, and long-term, conservation action.  We invite every participant to adopt a survey route as part of a small team that conducts a tracking survey once every six weeks (nine surveys per year), working to protect wildlife in the region.  To accommodate volunteers’ busy lives, teams can schedule their survey day within a two-week window.
This workshop will be held at The Nature Conservancy’s Guesthouse in Aravaipa Canyon Preserve, 50 miles northeast of Tucson, Arizona (approximately 3 to 3.5 hours drive from Tucson or Phoenix). During the workshop, we will take the opportunity to gather wildlife tracking data for Aravaipa Canyon Preserve. “Not only does the ranch sit over the main aquifer that supplies Aravaipa Creek, it’s also an important corridor for wildlife traveling from the Galiuro Mountains to the Santa Teresa Mountains,” says the Preserve’s manager, Mark Haberstich. “We’ve actually seen elk on the preserve” — a rarity at the site’s elevation of 3,300 feet.

We will be car and tent camping with indoor bathroom/ outdoor port-a-potty and limited indoor shower availability.  Campsites are grassy areas located at the guesthouse and are vehicle accessible.  High clearance vehicles are recommended.  Aravaipa Creek is only a short walk away from the camping area.  Potable water is available; water from area creeks should be treated prior to consumption.

SIA will provide cooked meals for dinner each night and can accommodate most dietary needs; you will need to bring enough food and water for breakfast, packable lunches and any snacks you desire.  The majority of the weekend will be spent outdoors and you can expect to spend time sitting, and walking or strolling along wet creeks and dry riverbeds as we look for tracks and other wildlife sign.  We provide some blocks of free time, but the schedule calls for long days, starting around 8am and ending around 7 or 8 at night.

All course materials are included.  You will receive Mark Elbroch’s field guide Mammal Tracks and Sign:  A Guide to North American Species, a tracking ruler, laminated wildlife track identification field cards, and a workshop packet.  We provide a one-year membership to Sky Island Alliance for non-member participants, including a subscription to our Restoring Connections newsletter.

No dogs or pets are allowed on this trip.  Participants are required to sign our volunteer release form.  Youth ages 13-17 are welcome if joined by an accompanying adult. Workshop registration will close one week before the first date of the workshop, or when full.  Please register online and during checkout specify payment by credit card or check.

Sky Island Alliance offers Wildlife Tracking Workshops twice a year, in both spring and fall.  Our workshops alternate between overnight camping and bed and breakfast style accommodations in different outdoor settings around the Sky Island region; cost can vary slightly based on amenities offered, but every workshop is taught at the same high quality standard.

***Cancellation policy:  Due to the limited space availability for this particular workshop, we cannot provide refunds for cancellation.  However, we can accept substitutions.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

For more information, please contact Jessica Moreno, Wildlife Linkages Program Coordinator, at [email protected], or ext 21.


April 21, 2016, 8:00 am
April 24, 2016, 5:00 pm
$175 – $285
Event Categories:


Jessica Moreno
624-7080 x 21


The Nature Conservancy Guesthouse
40926-40928 Aravaipa Canal
Willcox, 85643 United States
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