Animal Tracking Video TutorialsApr 18, 2023
If you wanted to identify an animal that was accessing your your yard, moving through a hunting trail you frequent, or rummaging through your campsite at night, would you know how to confidently determine the species based solely on the tracks it left behind? For the vast majority of people living in modern society, the answer to that question would be "no."
I wanted to pass along some material I use in the animal behavior courses I teach at several universities to help you do just that. These videos show you how to distinguish the tracks of medium-sized mammals that are commonly found throughout North America. The techniques I use to analyze tracks are based on animal foot morphology and are relied upon by professional biologists to accurately determine the species whose footprints they encounter in the field.
By learning some tracking basics, you can begin to put these skills into use right where you live to gain a much better understanding of the wildlife that is immediately around you, but that you never knew was there. Additionally, when you are out hunting, on a long backcountry trip, or even just out for a day hike, you can apply them to have a much improved understanding of the local ecology and the animals whose home habitat you are passing through!