Animal tracking
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Animal Tracking - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Animal Tracking. Large Scale Sign . Landscape Tracking – reading the landscape to locate animals “Islands” where animals can be found Find best “islands” for herbivores and you will find carnivores. Areas between islands tend to be scarce of animals except pass through. Wildlife Needs. Food

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Large scale sign l.jpg
Large Scale Sign

  • Landscape Tracking – reading the landscape to locate animals

  • “Islands” where animals can be found

  • Find best “islands” for herbivores and you will find carnivores.

  • Areas between islands tend to be scarce of animals except pass through

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Wildlife Needs

  • Food

  • Water

  • Shelter (Cover)

  • Space

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Indicator Species

  • The presence of these animals is an indicator of the “value” of the habitat

  • One present – good habitat

  • All present – excellent habitat

  • Vole, Rabbits, Deer

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Types of Habitat

  • Deep Forest

  • Very poor habitat

  • Little undergrowth and poor cover

  • Vegetation not varied

  • Raccoons, birds, rabbits

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Types of Habitat (cont.)

  • Fields

  • Very poor habitat

  • Little to no cover except at side of fields

  • Middle field is open territory for hawks and owls

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Types of Habitat

  • Transition Areas (Edges)

  • Zone of intersection between two habitats

  • Excellent habitat

  • Wide variety of vegetation and cover

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Travel Routes

  • Trails - super highways

  • Species nonspecific

  • Frequently used, rarely changed

  • Animals know them intimately

  • Troughs, no vegetation or battered vegetation

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Travel Routes (cont.)

  • Runs

  • Less frequently used, subject to change

  • Some definite wearing into the landscape

  • Connect watering, bedding, feeding areas to a trail

  • Species specific

  • Good for trapping.

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Travel Routes (cont.)

  • Escape Routes

    • Push Down – used only once, crashing through the brush from a trail

    • Established Escape Routes – pushdown used repetitively, often leads to a hide

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Animal Sleeping Areas

  • Bed – consistent sleeping place

  • Transit Bed – established bed used every so often

  • Lay – used only once or twice, broken down and crushed vegetation

  • Den – used only to bear and raise young

Feeding areas l.jpg
Feeding Areas

  • Varied Run Feeding Area – eat off trail or run further

  • Single Plant Feeding Area – run ends at a single plant or group of plants

  • Eat-through: animal eats through a patch of vegetation and comes out other side

  • Patched- irregular nibblings along edge of trail or run

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Medium Scale Signs

  • Rub – polished areas on the landscape

    • Unintentional – rubbing up against an object that protrudes onto the trail

    • Intentional – specific area where an animal is rubbing itself

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Medium Scale Signs (cont.)

  • Hair and Feathers – loss

  • Present at rub or snag

  • Loss during molting

  • May indicate a kill site

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Medium Scale Signs (cont.)

  • Gnaws and Chews

  • Tell animal by size of teeth where a plant has been bitten off

  • 45 degree clean cut – animal with incisors

  • Serrated Edge – pull plant up against pallete and sickle it off by pulling neck

  • Masticated – teeth marks with saliva – predator chew to get minerals

  • Scratchings – digging

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Medium Scale Sign (cont.)

  • Ground Debris – debris that is scratched, pinched, dented, abraded unnaturally, holes, stone rolls, broken twigs

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Medium Scale Sign (cont.)

  • Scat – feces of animal

  • Determine species by size, shape, and consistency

  • Determine diet of species

  • Animals leave scat in “safe” places, often near lays

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Scat Analysis

  • Tubular Shape

    • Canid Family (Dog)

    • Raccoon

    • Skunks

    • Oppossum

    • Bears



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Scat Analysis (cont.)

  • Oblong: may have nipple at end

    • Ungulates – Deer Family



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Scat Analysis (cont.)

  • Tear Drop or Tapered

    • Feline – cat family



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Scat Analysis (cont.)

  • Fattened Threads

    • Mustilids – Weasel Family



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Scat Analysis (cont.)

  • Pencil Lead

    • Rodents



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Scat Analysis (cont.)

  • M & M’s

    • Rabbits and Hares


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Scat Analysis (cont.)

  • Tubular and Tapered at both ends

    • Foxes



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Aging Scat

  • Greasy Scat – fresh meat or plants

  • Chalky Scat – old, scat dries from the inside out, bacterial residue forms

  • Hairy Scat – carnivore feeding on a old carcass, eating fur and skin last

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Raptor Pellets

  • Raptor (hawks eagles, and owls) regurgitate pellets of hair, bone and feathers - undigestible

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Small Scale Signs

  • Compressions – dust particles and grit on surface is either pressed into the surface or removed when animals walk over it

  • Sideheading - technique of keeping the track between you and the light source

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Ghost Scale Sign

  • Dullings – morning dew is wiped away by animal, plant dull – not shiny

  • Shinings – during day, animals press down shiny side of grass

  • Leaf Depressions – leaves are compressed as animal walks, leaving a compression outline

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  • Line of Travel: heel to heel

  • Length of Track

  • Width – widest part of track

  • Stride – heel of one foot to heel of the other

  • Straddle – distance between the right and left feet

  • Pitch – degree foot angles out from line of travel

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  • Direct Register: front foot is lifted up and the rear foot on that side drops directly into the front track (Cat and Fox)

  • Indirect Register: front foot is picked up and the rear foot on that side drifts slightly behind and to the right or left of front track

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Continuum of Speed

  • Stalk -------Slow Walk-------Walk-----

  • Trot-----Bound----Lope-----Gallop

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Pattern Classification

Pacers – move the same side of the body at the same time

  • Diagonal Walkers – animal moves opposite side of body at same time

  • Bounders – front feet land together, then the rear feet behind

  • Gallop (Hoppers) – front feet land first, rear feet come on outside of front feet and land ahead

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Diagonal Walkers

  • Deer, Canids and Felines

  • Stalk

  • Slow Walk

  • Pace when bored, annoyed, aggravated

  • Walk

  • Rarely hold a bound except in soft or rocky terrain - prefer to gallop; on clear terrain hold a bound on for a few patterns before going into a gallop - prefer to trot or lope - can go straight from a walk to a gallop (e.g. if suddenly frightened)

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Bound Walkers

  • Mustilids (Weasel) except skunk and badger

  • For a shear burst of speed will gallop - seen just before a kill

  • Will diagonal walk when approaching hunting territory e.g. slowing down to be more quiet

  • Will stalk when hunting game

  • Will pace when aggravated, bored or agitated, threatening, seen just before going out on hunt

Gallop hoppers walkers l.jpg
Gallop (Hoppers) Walkers

  • Rabbits, Hares and Rodents except porcupine and ground hog

  • Prefer to gallop but will bound in soft terrain i.e. snow, mud or rocky terrain

  • Will diagonal walk if it needs to cover a shorter distance than a hop would cover, e.g. rabbit moves 2" over to feed

  • Will stalk when moving away from danger

  • Will pace when aggravated, threatening or bored

Pacers l.jpg

  • Move the same side of the body at the same time

  • Wide, rotund bodies

  • Can go from stalk to gallop

  • Badgers, Skunk, Porcupine, Raccoon, Opossum, and Bear

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Sex Determination for Diagonal Walkers Only

  • Doe – narrow shoulder girdle, wide pelvic girdle for birthing

  • Buck – wide shoulder girdle for antler support, narrow pelvic girdle

  • Works only for adult animals

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Aging Tracks

  • 3 Factors the Degrade Tracks

    • Weather and Weather Fluctuations

    • Gravity

    • Type of Substrate or Soil