Cybertracker and Tracking

The CyberTracker Story

Originated by Louis Liebenberg

The Origin of Science
CyberTracker has grown from a simple hypothesis: The art of tracking may have been the origin of science. Science may have evolved more than a hundred thousand years ago with the evolution of modern hunter-gatherers.

Scientific reasoning may therefore be an innate ability of the human mind. This may have far-reaching implications for indigenous knowledge, self-education and citizen science.

Born to Run
In 1990 Louis Liebenberg ran a persistence hunt with Nate at Lone Tree in the Kalahari. The persistence hunt involves running down an antelope in the mid-day heat on an extremely hot day – chasing the antelope until it drops from heat exhaustion.

Persistence hunting may well be one of the oldest forms of hunting, practiced long before humans invented bows and arrows.

In 2001 Louis worked with David Attenborough on the BBC film showing Karoha (a Bushman hunter) doing the Persistence Hunt. And in 2009 the persistence hunt was brought to the attention of the endurance running world in the best-selling book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

Reviving the Dying Art of Tracking

In the words of Louis…
“!Nate asked me to help them. They could no longer live as hunter-gathers and needed jobs. Wildlife in the Kalahari has been decimated by fences that cut off migration routes. It was no longer viable to live as hunter-gatherers. And the art of tracking was dying out. After hundreds of thousands of years, traditional tracking skills may have been lost. Yet tracking can be developed into a new science with far-reaching implications for nature conservation.”

After discussions around the fire, it was decided that I should try to find a way to create jobs for trackers. Only by developing tracking into a modern profession, will tracking itself survive into the future.

Where Nature Guide Training fits in….
The CyberTracker Tracker Certification methodology Louis developed, to provide certification of practical tracking skills, enables trackers to get jobs in ecotourism, as rangers in anti-poaching units, in wildlife monitoring and scientific research. Tracker evaluations have since 1994 resulted in a steady growth of trackers with increasing levels of tracking skills in Africa, USA and Europe, thereby reviving tracking as a modern profession.

We at nature Guide Training, specifically Lee Gutteridge and Kersey Lawrence are both accredited assessors for this evaluation system.