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Also describes aging tracks and sign, understanding ecology and mapping, keeping field notes, using track tools, and making casts. Paperback , pages. Published February 1st by Stackpole Books first published January 30th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Animal Tracking Basics , please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Animal Tracking Basics. Lists with This Book. Feb 21, Maureen rated it it was ok.

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WAY too basic for me, but good for people who really do not know a thing and want some pleasent reflections on why loving animals and knowing their tracks is the key to knowing them and enjoying life. I would recommend you read Young's other book "What the Robin Knows" instead Mar 22, Crystal rated it it was amazing. This is an excellent book all about how to track, not a list of tracks.

It is comprehensive and inspiring with in depth exercises that are guaranteed to teach you tracking. Maxime rated it really liked it Oct 01, Nick Neddo rated it it was amazing Aug 15, J rated it really liked it Sep 16, Pat rated it it was amazing Dec 11, Dean Sinclair rated it it was amazing Mar 13, Loryn rated it really liked it Mar 13, Rolf Peters rated it it was amazing Sep 17, Kevin Lowery rated it liked it Dec 07, Kim Cabrera rated it it was amazing Jul 09, Jace Stansbury rated it it was amazing Mar 10, Mike Green rated it liked it Aug 23, William Watts rated it really liked it Apr 18, Srchnresq rated it liked it Jun 29, Isleofbeara rated it really liked it Jan 16, The robin's nest in the photo above is a familiar sight in many landscapes, especially in springtime.


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Many nests made by mammals are found within a burrow, and general are out of sight. The largest nests are the lodges made by beavers, which can be truly impressive at up to 6 feet tall and several meters wide!

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Animal Tracking Basics

Some larger mammals create temporary resting or sleeping areas in hidden spots under trees, on hillsides, in shallow caves or other sheltered spots. These temporary impressions left by the bodies of these animals are known as lays. If the spot is used repeatedly and for longer periods of time, it is known as a bed.

The shape of a bed can be a useful clue to figuring out the identity of the animal which made them. The bed pictured above is from a black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus columbianus that had bedded down in a sheltered spot on the forest floor during a winter snow storm.

Get Tracking! Wildlife Tracking Basics

Scat is animal feces, and it can tell you a lot about the animal that left it. Many mammals, especially carnivores, use scat to leave scent marks that communicate specific information to their neighbors. This might include information about the age, sex, health and disposition of the animal. When fresh, the scat of many animals can help you determine the species that left it. When tracking animals, the details to look at are: All of these tell you something about the animal in question. The scat in the photo above is a raccoon scat Procyon lotor and is composed of blackberries.

Get Tracking! Wildlife Tracking Basics : The Humane Society of the United States

Urine is generally much harder to see, unless it is left on snow or other easily visible substrate. Like scat, urine plays a key role in communication for many mammals. It is sometimes — but not always — deposited with scat. When it comes to identifying urine, your sense of smell is your greatest ally.

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The challenge with using urine in tracking animals is that it is very difficult to describe, and they best way to learn about it is to go out there and smell it for yourself! While tracking animals, sometimes the sign we find is not on the ground but on or in the surface of a plant. This includes bite or scratch marks in bark, cambium, on leaves or twigs. The size of a bite taken out of a leaf or twig can help you guess the identity of an animal.


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The removal of bark is another common sign in the landscape, and can be created by a variety of feeding animals including beavers, hares, voles and even bears. Some mammals, such as members of the deer family will also create rubs using their antlers, and in some species, with their teeth. These marks are left by bucks for the purpose of scent marking. The animal will rub a small sized tree down to the cambium layer and then rub the scent glands on their face or neck onto these marks.

Rubs may be reused many times in some locations.

Animal Tracking from Prints

These sites leave scent messages for all other deer which pass by. The rub in the photo above was made by a black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus columbianus. Also describes aging tracks and sign, understanding ecology and mapping, keeping field notes, using track tools, and making casts. Tiffany Morgan has worked as an editor for The 8-Sided Mirror, the newsletter for the Shikari Tracking Guild, and as an assistant curriculum writer for tracking and nature-based correspondence courses.

She has also participated in a variety of tracking research projects.