The Tracks of New Hampshire: Find Tracks or Try!

A huge part of being an Interpretive Ranger is putting on programs for park visitors. One of my programs is about the ways wildlife moves and their tracks. If you really look around yourself while you hike you’ll notice the signs of wildlife all around you. You can see vegetation pushed down, scat, and track prints in the ground. Tracking has been a technique used for years for many purposes. Those purposes being, hunting, photography, trapping, and wildlife viewing.

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Helpful tracking card with track size and shape

The fun part of tracking is that it’s solving a mystery. It clues you in on what wildlife is actually active in an area, what that wildlife does and where it goes in their active times. Have you ever wondered what some wildlife is doing while you are not looking? Tracking is also a way of knowing the biology of an animal and a great way to learn more about a species of animal.

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Tracking book

I decided to go out and find some tracks of my own and try to identify what wildlife they belong to. Some tracks I can easily identify but others are very difficult. For example, I am not sure if I would be able to recognize a coyote track from a dog track.

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My conclusion on this track was raccoon, had same size and shape. Tracks were underneath a small trail bridge with opened up mussels nearby

When I found a track I would take in account: Track size, environment track was found, what wildlife is most likely to be in the region of NH track was found in, etc…

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This track was tiny and I was torn between mink and weasel. Surrounding area was boggy and they were coming out from under a fallen over trees roots.
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Bird tracks of some sort near water so most likely a water fowl
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Hind and front track of what looks close to the porcupine tracks on the tracking card

As I went along trying to find as many tracks as I could, I soon realized it was difficult to find them. I certainly found my fair share of human and pet dog tracks along the trails. Tracking is something that I am going to keep practicing and one day will hopefully be an expert!

Feel free to post what your thoughts about the tracks in my blog may be!

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Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming. Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.

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