We’ve had some very creative suggestions to the mystery animal tracks, including Fox, Wallaby and the illusive Jabberwocky. Well here are the answers with some ideas to help identify them.
Animal 1 is a Rabbit hopping slowly. When they’re charging around at speed then the larger hind feet land in front of the forefeet.
Animal 2 is a Badger. On the photo I’ve overlaid the rough outline of the pads and claws, including the other left toe print which is hidden. Badgers have toe pads almost in a row with a large kidney-shaped palm pad. This is a forefoot because of the clear impressions of the long claws used for digging. The snow last week gave us a very low tech way of surveying our Badger setts to check on activity.
Animal 3 is a Human pulling a sled, with the twin runners making a pair of parallel tracks on the right of the photo. Ok it’s a bit of a leap, but I couldn’t resist.
Animal 4 is a Dog, with a triangular palm pad print and obvious claw marks. This is from a medium-sized dog, but obviously the print size varies greatly.
Animal 5 is a Fox, which can appear similar to an equally sized dog. The palm pad is much smaller than on a dogs and you can also draw a cross without touching any of the pads. Fox tracks are usually seen in a row along a route, rather than a dog leaping around.
Animal 6 is a bird, which looks about the right size for the Thrush Family, such as Blackbird or Fieldfare.
Why not keep an eye out for animal tracks when you’re out and about?
Senior Ranger Stuart