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This introductory online course will introduce the skills needed to confidently identify a variety of mammal and bird activities when you are out in the field. Wildlife tracking is a crucial skill within conservation management and key for species identification.
Tracking is a great way for nature enthusiasts and early conservationists to hone their ability to observe details around them and to build their knowledge of wildlife, specifically their movement and feeding ecology.
The course will begin by covering the physical appearance and ID features of a track, and then move on to feeding signs, homes, and droppings, and finally an introduction to recording the tracks you find, leaving you with an introduction to the world of track identification. Through the use of videos and images, this course will cover the main species of birds and mammals that you are likely to encounter within the UK. This course will give you the confidence to progress your learning and move on to courses looking more in-depth at specific tracks and signs identification.
This is a 2-week online course covering an extended topic, for which you will complete a variety of self-led online resources and activities. Each topic is then concluded with an interactive Zoom workshop to complement the online content. Time commitment is approximately 4-5 hours a week and an E-certificate is provided upon completion. Understand how our online courses are delivered.
Who Should Attend?
Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career ecologists.
Introductory. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors
No existing knowledge, or experience is needed for this course. Just a willingness to explore and learn.
It is recommended that you access your course through a PC or laptop. Please be aware that there will be reduced functionality if you decide to access the course through a tablet or smartphone. The Field Studies Council is unable to email content directly to you.
What is covered in this course?
- Introduction to Tracks and Signs
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Describe the basic types of tracks and signs and identify key features.
- Identify examples of specific animals from their tracks and signs.
- Share this knowledge with friends, family and fellow volunteers.
This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, including online course materials, expert tuition, and a flexible learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning within animal tracking with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of field skills. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.
Please note that bookings will close at 9 am on Tuesday 28th June to allow for all participants to be enrolled to the online platform – booking will not be taken after this time.*
* Bookings will close sooner if course capacity is reached
The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.
- See the ‘Example Timetable’ and ‘What’s Included’ sections below for more information about this course.
- Each individual needs to place their own order to ensure we can sign you up to the learning platform and give you access to resources.
- If you have any questions about our online courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions first
- If your question is still not answered, email [email protected]
Group Bookings Made Easy
If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses.
- Discounted rates
- Privately run courses for your group
- Bespoke courses developed specifically for your needs
Click here for more information!
Tutor: Dan PuplettDan Puplett is a naturalist, conservationist and environmental educator, and has been involved in a wide range of conservation projects. He is a certified wildlife tracker and is one of the first people in Europe to achieve a 100% score in Track and Sign under the rigorous international system for evaluation trackers. Dan is the author of the FSC Guide to British Bird Tracks & Signs and teaches naturalist field skills to people of all ages.
Live Webinar Information
The webinars will take place on the following dates at 7:00 pm (BST):
- Thursday 7th July 2022 at 7:00 - 7:45 pm
- Thursday 14th July 2022 at 7:00 - 7:45 pm
Please note - webinars will be recorded and uploaded to the virtual learning platform for learners unable to attend.
Week 1&2: Introduction to Tracks and Signs
Self-study material available: 30/06/2022
Week 1 Live Webinar: 07/07/2022 at 7:00 pm
Week 2 Live Webinar: 14/07/2022 at 7:00 pm
The final deadline to complete any outstanding activities and self-study components is 28/07/2022
Time commitment: This course will require approximately 4-5 hours of your time. This includes covering course materials on our Moodle learning platform and the Zoom session.
The course has been carefully created to help you constantly build on your knowledge as the course progresses. With content crafted to the online Moodle Platform and bespoke to the FSC.
The course includes:
- 45-minute interactive weekly Zoom workshops to connect with the tutor and other participants
- Expert tuition for which the FSC is renowned
- Activities to work on independently in advance of each Zoom workshop
- Tailored course certificate upon completion
Once registered, you will follow well-illustrated, user-friendly ’books’ to pick up knowledge. Quizzes and skill-checks will give you instant feedback on your learning. Forums give students the chance to interact with each other as well as a place to share work. Unique to the FSC, there are also Mindful Moments: a chance to stop, step away from your screen and interact with nature and enjoy a personal moment.
You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing an FSC course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.
Before You Attend
Once you sign up you’ll receive an email at least 48 hours in advance of the course opening with details of how to access our easy-to-use platform, Moodle.
Webinars are via Zoom so you won’t need any new software to attend
Please note that bookings will close on 9 am on Tuesday 28th June 2022 to allow for all participants to be enrolled to the online platform.
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