(4) Gallopers. Normal pattern for rabbits, hares, and rodents (except wide-body beaver, muskrat, marmot, and porcupine). As these animals move, they push off with their back feet, hit with their front feet, and bring their back feet into position. Tree dwelling gallopers will land with their front feet side by side, while ground dwelling gallopers will land with the front feet at a diagonal.
i. Gnawing. All animals will chew on vegetation: some as a food source, while predators need certain vitamins. Gnawings can be on trees (cambium layer) or on vegetation.
j. Scat. Scat is actual animal droppings.
k. Sign. Any disturbance of the natural condition which reveals the presence or passage of animals, persons, or things. Examples of sign include stones that have been knocked out of their original position, overturned leaves showing a darker underside, sand deposited on rocks, drag and scuff marks, displaced twigs, and scuff marks on trees.
l. Spoor. The actual track or trail of an animal, which can be identified as to size, shape, type and pattern. This word is generally interchanged with track. Spoor is broken down into two segments: aerial and ground.
2. Reading Spoor. Unless a clearly visible ground spoor is readable, interpretations must be made in order to determine "what animal made this?" Prior to ever attempting to read spoor, one must be thoroughly knowledgeable about what animals are in the area.
a. The first step is to look at the gait. This will generally narrow down the species.
b. The next step is determined which animal family the track belongs to. (WSVX.02.13b)
(1) Cat Family. Bobcat, Lynx, and Mountain Lion (Cougar). 4 toe pads, no visible claw print. It moves with a sense of purpose and direct registers its paws. Its heel pad is much more defined than one from a dog.
No claws showing £ Si
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