Animal related


aka WildTrack

Durham, NC


Our mission is to provide non-invasive, cost-effective and sustainable tools and consulting for the ethical monitoring of endangered species. With these tools we aim to provide accurate and reliable baseline information for conservation biology policy makers, to inform on how best to mitigate human:wildlife conflict, and prevent the illegal killing of wildlife.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Some of these questions are not yet applicable to our small organisation because we have no full-time employees and a small operating budget, but as we grow they will become relevant.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Dr Zoe Jewell

WildTrack Director and Co-Founder

Dr Sky Alibhai

Main Address

Box 90328 Duke University

Durham, NC 27708 USA


monitoring endangered species; non-invasive; footprint identification; science and technology; wildlife conservation





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

Biological, Life Science Research includes Marine Biology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology, etc.) (U50)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Biodiversity is the whole of life on our planet; it sustains our existence through our clean water, fresh air, healthy soil, medicines and all the other species we share the planet with. Without biodiversity we would not survive, and yet species are now disappearing at between 100 and 1000 times background rates. There is a huge need for reliable data at landscape levels; where species are, and how many are left. At local levels we need data on population dynamics - are populations healthy? Do they have the resources they need? The answers to these questions inform on strategy towards reducing human-wildlife conflict and illegal poaching through sustainable and effective conservation policy.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Amur tiger in N.E. China and Russia

Mountain lion monitoring in southern Chile, Texas and Colorado

Cheetah in Namibia

Black rhino custodianships in Namibia

Giant panda in China


Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of critically endangered species for which conservation measures have been launched or supported

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Context notes

We have developed footprint identification algorithms for 13 species to date, ranging from black rhino in Africa to mountain lion on the Americas. For each algorithm we have a field project partner.

Number of endangered species project where non-invasive and cost-effective footprinting techniques are used to monitor numbers and distribution.

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Context notes

We have 26 project partners around the world working with us to deliver non-invasive solutions for ethical and effective species monitoring

Number of students engaged in learning non-invasive techniques

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Context notes

We have undergraduate and grad. students from universities around the world including Duke, NC State, University of North Carolina, Oxford University, Heriot-Watt University and many others

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

What are our Goals? WildTrack is a small, highly mobile, and efficient 501(c)3 organization. Our goals are focused on finding practical solutions for one of the most pressing problems of our time; the global loss of biodiversity. Our goals can be divided into three main categories: a. To research and develop new non-invasive technologies to optimize effective data collection on the numbers and distribution of endangered species in threatened habitats and alleviate the threats, such as illegal poaching and human:wildlife conflict. b. To provide consulting for field research groups on the effective use of non-invasive, cost-effective and community-inclusive techniques for biodiversity monitoring. c. To encourage ethical decisions in conservation monitoring and planning. How can we engage the skills of local communities in conservation monitoring? How can we balance the welfare of individual animals with our desire to preserve species?

WildTrack's goals combine academic research with practical field implementation, through innovative multi-disciplinary approaches. Our academic research strategy is to have a strong interdisciplinary academic base. We now have unrivalled academic collaborations and resources through our positions with Duke University, and the SAS Institute in the renowned Research Triangle area, North Carolina, USA. Our field implementation strategy is to build a strong network of field projects across a range of endangered species and habitats, in which to test our innovative approaches. To date we have 19 partner projects on 5 continents. We designed our footprint identification technique (FIT) when we worked with indigenous expert trackers in Zimbabwe and Namibia for ten years. In 2017 we introduced a new strategy, ConservationFIT, to mobilise citizen scientists to collect the baseline data, footprints, that we urgently need to inform on numbers and distribution.

WildTrack has a small but diverse board of Directors whose expertise ranges from forensic microscopy and science, to medical expedition work, international marketing management, law, accounting and engineering. Zoe Jewell, holds a degree in veterinary medicine from Cambridge University, and co-founder Sky Alibhai, holds a D.Phil in zoology from Oxford University. We have integrated research and development with practical field application through a unique combination of support from the SAS Institute and Duke University. Our research partners include universities, NGO's, global corporations, small start-ups and governments around the world across disciplines as diverse as engineering and conservation biology. We have now established a global network,, to start collecting footprint data from all over the world.

WildTrack's central mission is to develop and apply new non-invasive techniques for monitoring endangered species. We therefore primarily measure our progress in terms of the field projects we have attracted, and the techniques we have been able to develop. We also measure our progress by the number of conservation biology students who adopt our systems to trial in the field, engineering students who work to design drones to help us, volunteers who help us collect footprints. Our progress can also be assessed by the advances in the image identification software we design with developers at the SAS Institute and share around the world with field colleagues. Images of animals or the traces they leave behind form a biometric 'marker' and these markers form a strong component of our research. Progress is also measured in terms of the data we collect - our image database is spearheading machine learning progress for endangered species monitoring.

What have we accomplished and where do we plan to go next? Since we formed WildTrack in 2004 we have grown >20 field projects over 5 continents and developed an award-winning footprint identification technique (FIT). We have developed FIT algorithms for the black and white rhino, Lowland and Baird's tapir, Mountain lion, African lion, cheetah, Amur tiger and Bengal tiger, Giant panda, dormouse, Polar bear and brown bear. We have implemented monitoring systems through workshops and technology transfer for using FIT for cheetah in Namibia, Amur tiger and Giant panda in China. We're currently working to develop further non-invasive monitoring tools that will form a new synergy in a conservation FIT toolbox. We're developing new FIT algorithms for new species, currently hyena, jaguar, snow leopard and African leopard amongst others. We're also developing machine learning imaging techniques to improve data flow and decision-making capability and engaging citizen scientists.

External Reviews




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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity


Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
WildTrack is currently a small non-profit with no full-time employees. However, we work with hugely diverse groups in our >20 global projects over 5 continents. Diversity is strength in a field where we celebrate alternative approaches and constructive disruption to the status quo in protecting biodiversity.