General Services

Tracker-naturalist David Brown provides several services focused on New England wildlife. These include:

  • Interpretive programs, including animal tracking and bird programs
  • Wildlife inventories, including both mammal tracking and bird surveys
  • Docent training of interpretive walk leaders
  • Wildlife education planning for organizations
David Brown points out bobcat sign in a
porcupine runway. Photo Bart DeWolf.

Interpretive programs

These are mostly tracking programs where participants explore forests, fields and wetlands to learn the art of finding, identifying and interpreting wild animal evidence. This process can be called “eco-tracking”, the ultimate aim of which is to discover the relationship of the animal to its habitat. It can also be described as “forensic ecology”, that is, piecing together clues to form a coherent sense of what went on at a site using often scant and partial clues. The process resembles that in the popular TV series, CSI. By careful examination of found evidence, we can see the animal in the mind’s eye as it moves through and interacts with its environment and so discover the life hidden behind foliage and in the night.

Docent training

It is helpful for conservation-minded groups to have a corps of trained volunteers to lead walks on their properties, pointing out features of nature that may be found there: birds, mammal tracks and sign, foliage and flowers, etc. With a lifetime of experience as a naturalist and a career as a professional teacher, David Brown has the skills to impart to groups of trainees that will allow them to function effectively as guides to the properties. Trainings are scheduled at the convenience of the group and usually include sessions over a calendar year for seasonal experience. Cost depends on the intensity and length of the training involved. Estimates can be arranged. David Brown has done extensive training for multiple groups at the Greater Lovell (ME) Land Trust and for the Friends of Alewife Reservation.

Wildlife Education Consulting

Many conservation groups such as land trusts and nature centers may wish to construct a formal educational framework for their properties. In addition, layout and design of facilities can be provided, such as interpretive trails and bird blinds. David Brown’s experience as both naturalist and professional teacher makes him ideal for this kind of planning. Extensive consults have been done in the past for the Lakes Environmental Association in Bridgton, Maine, the Camp Nihan Environmental Center (DCR) in Saugus Mass. and the Greater Lovell Land Trust, Lovell, ME.

Wildlife Inventories

Many public and private property owners may wish to have an inventory of the wildlife on their properties. David Brown’s surveys concentrate on both the ecological context on a property and the bird and mammal population that that context supports. He has done many inventories for landowners and stewards of public lands. These include a tracking survey of the Middlesex Fells Reservation in Massachusetts, bird and mammal inventories at Alewife Reservation in Cambridge, MA, a mammal tracking survey and boundary search for the Friends of the Five Kezars in Waterford, ME. and several others for private landowners. These surveys are generally conducted over four seasons and a detailed report is provided. Cost estimate can be provided and depends on the size of the property and its habitat diversity.