On Track: Quick ID Guide to Southern and East African Animal Tracks, by Chris and Tilde Stuart
Concise and to-the-point, On Track: Quick ID Guide to Southern and East African Animal Tracks, by Chris and Tilde Stuart, will prove indispensable in the field, no matter the experience of the user.
How to use this guide
First refer to the simplified track key (inside cover) and find the track that most closely fits the footprint you are trying to identify. This will direct you to the appropriate section in the book. It is always good to have an idea of what species occur in the area, as this helps to narrow down your choices. For example, you will not encounter lion tracks in the Tankwa Karoo, but you may find leopard footprints. However, in the Karoo National Park you may encounter both. Also bear in mind that, on private game farms, you may encounter the tracks of species far outside their natural range, especially in southern Africa. Try to look for several tracks, as this may help you build up a clearer picture, especially in loose or coarse soil. Walk up and down the side of the trail and not directly on it, in case you need to backtrack. Track into the sun wherever possible, as this helps to make the track more visible. Early mornings and late afternoons are best. When following tracks, you need to look not only straight down, but also to scan several metres ahead of you - this may make a track more visible than when you are on top of it. It is always a good idea to photograph clear tracks and, in this way, build up a personal reference collection. Always use a scale in your photographs, or take accurate measurements. The drawings on the left of this page show you which measurements are the most important. In general, with paw tracks where claws are present, the claw lengths are excluded from the measurement. This is because claw lengths may vary considerably, even within the same species. The stride is the distance between the individual tracks; the straddle is the distance between tracks to the left and right of the animal as it walks, trots or gallops. Always be alert for other traces and signs associated with the tracks you are attempting to identify. Droppings, evidence of feeding and scratch marks on the ground or on trees may help you to identify a species. In parts of southern and East Africa, tracks may be attributable to domesticated mammals, even in conservation areas. Dog tracks can be mistaken for jackals and hyaenas. Domesticated cat tracks can be confused with wild cats, though wild cat tracks are larger. Cattle tracks may resemble buffalo or eland tracks, and horse tracks may resemble zebra tracks. The 'squared' tracks of sheep and goats are not likely to be confused with those of antelope, though they may resemble pigs tracks. [...]
This is an excerpt from the book: On Track: Quick ID Guide to Southern and East African Animal Tracks, by Chris and Tilde Stuart.
Title: On Track
Subtitle: Quick ID Guide to Southern and East African Animal Tracks
Authors: Chris Stuart; Tilde Stuart
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781920572532 / ISBN 978-1-920572-53-2
Softcover, 11 x 18 cm, 40 pages, throughout photographs and illustrations
Stuart, Chris und Stuart, Tilde im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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