Tracking Team

The Preserve Calavera Tracking Team is a local entity under the general organization of the San Diego Tracking Team.  Until 2017, we carried out quarterly wildlife transects in the Calavera Preserve and along Ranch Santa Fe Road to monitor wildlife movement in those areas for more than 15 years.  If you are interested in participating,  you’ll need to get some basic training through the San Diego Tracking Team.

This is a recent transect photo from Calavera Highlands of roadrunner scat, one of the species we monitor:

photo by N. Shapiro

photo by N. Shapiro

Roadrunner scat typically has a large, bulbous white end of uric acid in conjunction with the brown poop.

Our wily coyote is a most opportunistic eater.  Here’s some recent coyote scat showing its diverse diet:  date seeds and a plastic caveman.

Photo by K. Merrill

Photo by K. Merrill

Here’s data from 2007-2013 for 2 wildlife transects in the Calavera Preserve.  The data was compiled by Karen Merrill:

  • This link covers transect #38 in the southern part of the preserve.
  • This link covers transect #50 in the center of the Calavera Preserve.

During 2016, Preserve Calavera worked with CNLM (Center for Natural Lands Management) to monitor 2 pinchpoints along wildlife movement corridors to determine whether mule deer are using wildlife tunnels under Faraday and Melrose (near Carlsbad Oaks North).  The following are tracks of some of the animals using the Faraday tunnel:

During 2017, our trackers have been helping CNLM monitor mule deer movement between Melrose near Leo Carrillo Ranch and across Paloma’s Airport Rd.  Stay tuned in for our results.

Turtle tracks at Penasquitos Lagoon

turtle tracks

These tracks are probably not our native Western Pond Turtle…more likely a released pet. We followed the trail to see if we could find it but it vanished into the tidal flow.