This initiative was started by Sophie Mazowita, a local naturalist and educator, while she was embarking on a 9-month Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship with White Pine Programs in Maine. Invited to apply her tracking skills through a project, she set out to build on earlier Burlington wildlife studies- now over a decade old- and to create a citizen science tool to collect public wildlife sighting data.
Sophie is a program director at Crow's Path Field School and was formerly Education Manager at Green Mountain Audubon Center. She started tracking a decade ago, while working as a park ranger in Algonquin Park, Ontario.
The Burlington Mammal Tracking Project was launched in December 2015 to better understand and document the movements and habitat use of large mammals in Burlington, Vermont. A year later, the Burlington Tracking Club hosted its first gathering for both novice and experienced trackers looking to explore Vermont's urban wilds and hone their tracking skills.
Through data collection, public outreach and advocacy, the Tracking Project and Tracking Club seek to:
Build understanding of local wildlife ecology and specifically the habitat needs of large mammals
Connect people to local wildlife and natural areas through tracking
Protect and enhance a network of core habitats and travel corridors for wildlife in the Champlain Valley