A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern, Central and East African Wildlife, by Chris and Tilde Stuart

A Field Guide to theTracks & Signs of Southern, Central and East African Wildlife, by Chris and Tilde Stuart. 3rd edition, Cape Town 2001

A Field Guide to theTracks & Signs of Southern, Central and East African Wildlife, by Chris and Tilde Stuart. 3rd edition, Cape Town 2001

Chris and Tilde Stuart's book, A Field Guide to theTracks & Signs of Southern, Central and East African Wildlife, is unique in its approach: instead of listing animals, each with its tracks and signs, in taxonomic order, it allows you to look at the track or signs and then, by means of keys, determine the animal group or species responsible for what you see.

Chris Stuart  Tilde Stuart  

How to use this track guide

When you see a track you would like to identify, go to the general tracks key on page 14. From there go to the relevant group key, which will direct you to the species description. There you will also find photographs illustrating the tracks under different conditions. For droppings or dung, go to general droppings key on page 134, which will allow you to determine the group of animals responsible for the droppings. Then read the relevant group description and look at the photographs. If the general droppings key refers you to the antelope, go to antelope dung key on page 138 and check the individual species descriptions and photographs. To identify bird nests, turn to the key on page 209, which will help you determine to which group your nest belongs. If you see other signs such as resting places or feeding signs, you will find some guidance as to the identity of the animals responsible in the relevant chapters, but always look for tracks and dung as well. Tracks differ with living conditions: antelope in sandy areas, for example, may have hoofs longer than usual; tracks in soft sand or mud may be splayed for better purchase. Always remember that the track of the same species can show considerable variation; this may reflect the age composition of a population (young animals leave smaller tracks), individual differences and the influences of the substrate. For example, a track left in firm, damp silt will usually be clear and will accurately portray the animal's foot structure but if the same individual steps on loose sand the chances of reaching identification are greatly reduced. This is why it is always a good idea to follow a trail until you find a clear track. Wherever possible we have included a drawing of the "ideal" track, a photograph of a track taken in the natural state (we have tried to select for what you are most likely to see and not the perfect track) and in some cases the feet themselves where we feel that this may help in reaching a decision on identification. We would like to point out that wherever we have used the feet of animals to illustrate a particular characteristic, none of these animals had been killed specifically to be photographed for this book. Carcasses came from road kills, culling and problem animal control programmes, and predator kills. Apart from the shape and form of a track, the size is obviously very important. We have given average lengths (without the claws where this is applicable) from hundreds of tracks that we have personally measured and if we consider it important we have included additional measurements, such as greatest width, main pad size and claw length. Wherever possible try to measure tracks that are clear and not distorted. We have placed the different types of tracks in broad size categories to convenience and where possible similar-sized species occurring in close association are described together. Once you have your track placed in its size group from the comparative plate, turn to the photographs and drawings and take note of the other factors that may aid you in reaching identification. [...]

This is an excerpt from the guide: A Field Guide to theTracks & Signs of Southern, Central and East African Wildlife, by Chris and Tilde Stuart.

Title: Field Guide to Tracks and Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife
Authors: Chris Stuart; Tilde Stuart
Struik Publishers
3rd edition, Cape Town 2001
ISBN 9781868725588 / ISBN 978-1-86872-558-8
Softcover, 14x21 cm, 310 pages, numerous bw- and colour photos and illustrations

Stuart, Chris und Stuart, Tilde im Namibiana-Buchangebot

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