Humber Arboretum hosts wildlife tracking event

by | Feb 4, 2019 | Biz/Tech, News, North

Patrick Simpson, Biz/Tech Reporter

Winter tracks and signs of animal life were seen at the Humber College wildlife tracking event hosted by the Humber Arboretum.

The winter event saw attendees trudging through thick snow just to get a glimpse of some of the wildlife that live on the grounds and forests behind Humber College.

Attendees that went to the event didn’t see any animal life but did see a number of footprints in the snow showing signs of various animals.     

The Jan. 29 wildlife tracking walk was hosted by Reid Tamarack, a Senior Nature Interpreter at the Arboretum. She said the event was meant to build a stronger understanding of animal tracking and the Humber Arboretum.

“Mostly it’s important to get people out into the Arboretum just to let them know we exist and also show that it can be really wonderful to go and explore in there and tracking is a really great hook for people to become interested in nature,” she said.

“It’s an easier way of telling them an animal has been somewhere rather than seeing an animal which doesn’t always happen,” Tamarack said. “We do have sightings in here but it’s even easier to find a sign that an animal has been there.

Arboretum Nature guide Reid Tamarack measuring the size of winter tracks left by a deer. (Patrick Simpson)

The walk was part of a series of lunch-and-learns being hosted by faculty at the Arboretum. Topics include gardening, bee keeping and various nature and wildlife based workshops.

Peter Kreze, 55, has been to several events at the Humber Arboretum. He said the tracking event will come in handy when it comes to identifying different footprints on the trails.

“When I take a look at the trails and the tracks and I’ll say this is this animal, and this is that animal, just to make it more interesting,” he said.

Kelly Grey, 58, part of the support staff for the School of Applied Technology at Humber, said events like these are a good way to learn something new.

“It’s mostly a chance to get out for a walk and learn some new things in the Arboretum. I come out here as often as I can and even if it’s just a quick lap around the ponds at lunch time,” Grey said.

Tamarack recommends people interested in wildlife tracking to bring a tracking field guide with them and to start small.

“Take a look at the ground,” she said. “Become really attuned with what’s happening there. You can see tracks of things anywhere you go outside.

“It could be something simple like the dogs walking around with their owners or people’s footprints but once you start looking into that, building that awareness, you can start to see other things taking place as well,” Tamarack said.