Who are the Trackers on iNaturalist?

I sometimes choose a common animal or plant, and see if I can identify a lot of them in a batch. Most of the ones I select have already been well-worked-over, especially for birds. Today for some reason I chose Virginia Opossum. There are seven pages of 20 observations each of unidentified Opossum. Most of these are of tracks or skeletal remains, and most are responsibly done, for instance with measurements. I think this would be easy pickins' for a skilled tracker who also did IDs on iNaturalist. But where are they? We have some excellent trackers in our area, but I've not yet been able to proselytize them into iNaturalist. Ideas?

Posted by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon, 08 May, 2018 22:03


So if any of you consider yourself to be good trackers, or know other iNat participants who are, it would be good for me to know about this, so I can direct the random ID-able observation their way.

@dpom @robberfly @moonlittrails @kueda @loarie @damontighe @kestrel @rebeccafay @catchang @tiwane @geodani @vermfly @kschnei @clem @merav @sea-kangaroo @wildmarin @adrained @jmaughn @leftcoastnaturalist @truthseqr @rjadams55 @finatic @charlie @muir @nlblock @dyeany2 @luna-shadow @maractwin @hollycybelle @varajuan @sambiology @jaykeller

Posted by gyrrlfalcon almost 5 years ago (Flag)

@jonahevans knows his animal tracks for sure and prob would know who else does

Posted by loarie almost 5 years ago (Flag)

@biohexx1 might have someone in mind...

Posted by damontighe almost 5 years ago (Flag)

My own tracking skills only impress the extremely gullible...

Posted by jmaughn almost 5 years ago (Flag)

My go-to tracker is @beartracker !
Generally I funnel all California mammal observations into
these projects:

-California Mammals
-Global Roadkill
-North American Animal Tracking Database
-Skulls and Bones

Posted by biohexx1 almost 5 years ago (Flag)

@thunefeld knows tracks as well.

Posted by biohexx1 almost 5 years ago (Flag)

Thanks - this is a great list for starters. They should all play (with O-) possum!

Posted by gyrrlfalcon almost 5 years ago (Flag)

That’s so sweet you’d include me in a tracking query. But alas, animal ID is my kryptonite. I keep hoping to improve.

Posted by catchang almost 5 years ago (Flag)

I'm also a hack job tracker, but my colleague @antnat is the guy.

Posted by leftcoastnaturalist almost 5 years ago (Flag)

@sophie is... i am not good at it

Posted by charlie almost 5 years ago (Flag)

My go-to tracker is also @beartracker. I know just enough about carnivore tracks and scat in our area to get myself in trouble. However, I love to know when mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and foxes have visited our preserves, and since I rarely, if ever, see them, I've been studying tracks and sign left by these animals for about 8 years now. (@beartracker has been studying tracks and sign of all animals for a lifetime - 35 years or more.)

I participated in a project sponsored by UCSC to study carnivore diets (by studying scat) in order to understand how human encroachment on their habitat is changing their diet over time.

My go-to person for bone ID is @asemerdj .

I funnel my observations into the following projects as appropriate:

Skulls and Bones

I also use the tag Track/Sign as appropriate.

Posted by truthseqr almost 5 years ago (Flag)

@beartracker, @herptracker and @chris_hass have been great to me by looking at my observations of tracks. I also add mine to the North American Animal Tracking Database project and have received helpful IDs there.

Posted by finatic almost 5 years ago (Flag)

I'm not great with tracks but I can ID some if they're obvious. I'm happy to look at bones anytime!

Posted by asemerdj almost 5 years ago (Flag)

@beartracker hands down.
Check out her youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/beartracker777/videos

Posted by clem almost 5 years ago (Flag)

@biohexx1 , do you put observations of scat, tracks & bone in the following projects?

Mammals of North America
California Mammals

Just wondering if those projects want scat/tracks/bone, or if they only want actual sightings.

Posted by truthseqr almost 5 years ago (Flag)

For CA Mammals, actual sightings.

Posted by biohexx1 almost 5 years ago (Flag)

Mammals of North America takes all kinds of detection, but prompts you for which type it is.

Posted by gyrrlfalcon almost 5 years ago (Flag)

OK. Thanks, @gyrrlfalcon.

Posted by truthseqr almost 5 years ago (Flag)

Here is my list of trackers that are known to me. I know many of them personally. Some of these folks are CyberTracker evaluators, or CyberTracker certified at various levels. If they have a particular regional or species specialty I indicated it there. That doesn't mean they can't ID other tracks, just that they are particularly good at that region or species. (In my opinion.) All of these folks are great trackers! And thanks for the recommendations above, everyone. I appreciate it. :)

My list of trackers on iNaturalist:
chris_hass - my go-to person for cougar and felid sign
thunefeld - awesome at desert animals
herptracker - herp tracks and all others
asemerdj - bones and skulls
connoromalley92 - cougars
susanhewitt - molluscs
smansfield - bear specialist
jim_carretta - desert
ollerton - desert
shankarts - desert
tresgatas - U.S. and South African species tracks and signs
ceiseman - insect and invertebrate track and sign
letsche - herps
lindajhunter - bears, cougars

Posted by beartracker almost 5 years ago (Flag)

Wow - that's a great resource. I am wondering if there is a way we can open this kind of conversation up to iNat users generally? It could also be a helpful model for other difficult ID taxa, I'd think.

Posted by gyrrlfalcon almost 5 years ago (Flag)

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