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Wildlife Survey Field Methods Self Paced

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Description of Course

Wildlife Survey Field Methods is an online course in which the students can work at their own pace to complete the course. The course is comprised of:

  1. Online material to be worked through, consisting of text, video, quizzes, case studies, etc.
  2. Three assignments to be submitted to NRTG. These assignments are compulsory and will be graded and feedback provided. Every effort will be made to turnaround marking within 7 days.

Successful certification of Wildlife Survey Field Methods requires:

  • Completion of all online modules and quizzes
  • Submission of all required assignments
  • Achieving a grade greater than 50% across all assignments

Course Introduction 

The mammalian fauna of North America includes a very large array of species living in a myriad of environments and habitats. Yet we need to be able to go out and survey these animals for a wide variety of purposes, whether that is management, research, protection of species and habitats, or assessing the impact of developments. Our methods and approaches for conducting these surveys are numerous because of the wide range of species and various reasons for surveying.

Right at the outset we’ll emphasize that effective surveys require a large amount of effort. All wildlife species are very proficient at avoiding our detection and hiding before we can find them. For these reasons, in this course we examine a large variety of surveying methods rather than detailing only a few that require sighting of animals. The effective wildlife survey technician will incorporate as many methods and forms of wildlife evidence they possibly can in their surveys in order to form a comprehensive understanding of wildlife use of a landscape.

We also wish to emphasize that wildlife surveys are a great deal of fun. Once you become familiar with looking for sign and carcasses and other evidence of use, you begin to see the evidence of wild animals everywhere you go. The skills of conducting wildlife surveys will open your eyes to the abundance and variety of wild mammals around you in whatever environment you live. We hope in this course to pass the passion and enthusiasm of wildlife observation along to you, the student, so that you will enjoy and appreciate all of the wildlife in your area, whether for pleasure or work.

This course is comprised of nine modules ranging from the conceptual of why we survey through to detailed and specific methods how to survey and using the data derived from these surveys. The intent is to provide the student with a comprehensive introduction of mammalian survey methodologies and uses. Further, within selected modules the additional resources provided will help to fill out the descriptions and appreciation of the various subjects.

Sean Mitchell, PhD, RP Bio

Headshot of Sean Mitchell, Fisheries Biologist and NRTG instructor.

Sean has been involved in wildlife studies since 1989 when he worked on his first project with pine marten. Since then he has worked with small mammals, turtles, waterfowl, and owls. Mammals, in particular, are a passion and he has pursued them as a personal as well as professional interest. Sean is currently working on a book of mammal observation and wildlife survey methods for the non-professional in order to encourage others to enjoy the challenges and rewards of wildlife observation and interaction.  Wildlife Survey Field Methods introduces the students to the wide range of mammalian survey methods and things to look for while in the field to not only observe animals but also draw inferences and truly appreciate the wild animals around us.

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