• Tricia Edgar

Animal Tracking

Coyote track in the mud.

Have you ever looked for signs of an animal in the forest?

Today's goal is to see how many animal signs you can see when you're out and about.

  • To track animals, you can look for:

  • Footprints or other tracks such as slime

  • Broken branches from deer and other large animals

  • Plants that have been eaten

  • Scat (poop) from the animal. Many herbivores have pellet-like scat.

For instance, if you are looking for squirrels, the local Douglas squirrel leaves behind what's called a cone cob, with many small pieces of cone around it.

Douglas squirrel cone cob.

If you're looking for actual animal tracks visit an area that has a lot of mud or sand for the best hunting. Think about:

  • How was the animal moving? Was it bounding? Moving erratically?

  • How large or heavy is the animal? What is the depth of the track? How does the substrate (sand, mud, snow etc) influence this?

  • What toes or claws can you see?

Enjoy hunting for tracks and signs!


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