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Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #50 - Question

by Brian Booth

Here’s a challenging quiz. But if you’re new to tracking, fear not, as this is probably equally challenging for experienced trackers.
Photo 50A
Habitat: High elevation in the deep, snowy summits of the North Cascade mountains of Washington.

Time of year: May. (In this severe habitat, May is basically like late winter.)
Photo 50B

You are on a mountaineering trip, and when reaching the lofty summit, you encounter a set of tracks going uphill. The stride was 26 inches and the trail width was 6 inches.
Photo 50C

All the tracks in this uphill set looked basically the same.
Photos 50C / 50D / 50E show closeups of a few examples. The footprints averaged 5½ inches long by 3¾ inches wide.
Photo 50D
Photo 50E
Photo 50F

After reaching the summit, the animal went downhill on the opposite side
Photo 50G

Photo 50G is zoomed in to show the stride & gait of the downhill set. The group length measured 21 inches. The stride measured 30 inches. The trail width was 6 inches.
Photo 50H

There were two distinct types of footprints in the downhill set.
Photos 50H / 50I are closeup examples of each. The 50H track measured 3¼ inch long by 3¾ inch wide. The 50I track measured 4 inches long by 3½ inches wide.
Photo 50I
1. What animal visited the mountain summit?
2. What gait was the animal using while going uphill? Why are all the tracks the same?
3. What gait was the animal using while going downhill? Which tracks are the front and hind?
4. Why did the animal change gaits?

Quiz #50 - Answer

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