Tracking Quiz website

Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #43 - Question

Photos and text by Brian Booth

Here’s an introductory quiz for anyone new to tracking, a basic animal that all trackers should get down solidly. (Hint: The answer is not “Tibetan Snow Leopard” or something like that.) However, although it’s a common animal, there is some challenge in that basically only the gait can be seen in the tracks; there is hardly any detail that can be seen in the individual footprints, and even with that, the gait appears irregular because some footprints did not display at all. This is a good quiz if you would like to introduce someone to the world of tracking in an easy way.
Photo 43A

Habitat: The glorious North Cascades mountains of Washington, elevation 7,000 feet

Time of year: October (the best time to see the western larch trees in their fall color).

Photo 43B

There is patchy snow on the ground from the first winter storm. (In the severe climate of the North Cascades at this high of an elevation, “winter” starts in early October.)

Photo 43C

What a stroke of luck – there is an animal trail right down the center of a thin patch of snow
Photo 43D

Photo 43D is an overhead shot of the trail. The stride ranged from 7 to 8 inches.

Photos 43E / 43F / 43G are zoomed in to show individual groups of tracks. The trail width of the large feet ranged from 2½ to 2¾ inches, and the trail width of the small feet ranged from 1¼ to 1½ inches. The large feet measured about 5/8 inch long by 5/8 inch wide. The small feet measured about ½ inch long by ½ inch wide.
Photo 43E
Photo 43F
Photo 43G
1. What animal made the tracks?
2. Which direction was the animal going?
3. Which prints are the front tracks, and which are the hind tracks?

Quiz #43 - Answer

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