BC Wildlife Tracks

Snow or wet soil reveals what really happens in the wild. Starting last year, I began to photograph tracks in the Kamloops area. It’s amazing to learn how to identify what may have passed by. How recent the track is and the snow consistency are both important to identification. My friend had a Bobcat in his yard yesterday (more on that in a later post) and this led to getting some pictures of Bobcat tracks. Isaac hiked yesterday in back country and was surprised to see a Cougar track on top of his boot tracks on his return trip a couple hours later. He passed on a photo of this. These two events yesterday had me digging up recent photos of tracks (mostly in snow) and organizing them into a folder. I hope this folder grows in future years and I will definitely be spending more time noticing and documenting the tracks in the area this winter. Here is a sample of tracks so far. There are more that will remain unidentified but that’s part of the fun.

Black or Grizzly Bear along the Clearwater River in Wells Gray Provincial Park. My boot print lower right for size. Probably Black Bear?
Moose track (not the ice cream) in the same area as above
Moose in deep snow. An animal that big leaves a noticeably large trail. This is very deep snow so you can see the drag marks if its feet which were skimmed over the top level of the snow. Saw this particular Moose so the tracks are confirmed.
River Otter or Beaver moving from one open water section to another on Tranquille Creek last winter (the more zig-zag track). Both species would be expected here. Not sure what the other track is but the top right one would most likely be a Coyote.
Red Squirrel bounding along on the ground. Heading straight towards a tree also gives it away. I love how you can see all 4 feet and its body shape in each jump. It’s possible to actually picture the squirrel moving in this one.
Long-tailed Weasel. I happened to see this individual last year if I remember correctly. They jump from place to place and these markings are the front feet landing and the back feet pushing off from almost the same place. In other words, each divot is all four feet.
I rarely see weasel tracks like this. Perfect snow, temperature, and a very recent. These tracks were made by the same animal in the photo above, just on an area of harder snow.
A bird walking. Probably a Raven, Crow, or Magpie. You can see each foot and then the tail being dragged behind. Walked from top right to lower left. My boot print on the right for size scale.
Coyote tracks. Notice the claw marks at the front of the toe prints. Apparently cat species never/usually do not show claw marks because they can retract their claws when walking. Not big enough or the right habitat to be wolf. Was photographed at low elevation in grassland.
Bobcat track with my pinky finger. Saw this animal so these tracks are confirmed. Notice no claw marks, only pads of feet.
Bobcat tracks showing gait as it walked.
Cougar track on top of Isaac’s boot prints from yesterday. Notice the large size and no claw marks. He said it crossed his path, wasn’t following him….
This photo taken several years ago while snowshoeing. Several deer travelling in the same line to save energy on the right and a Cougar paralleling on the left. Notice the body shape in deep snow and the Cougar’s ability to leap great distances. Would have been fun to see if this sequence ended with a Cougar taking one of the deer.
Deer Mouse tracks. You can see the tail mark dragged behind.

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