Do you know your CVNP animal tracks?

#1 Who left this track — a coyote, fox, or a dog?

Oh, sorry! Coyote prints are ovular and usually 2.5 to 3.5 inches long, sometimes with sharp claw marks on the front two toes. The four toes are usually close together, while dog prints are thicker and splayed in different directions. Fox tracks can be similar to coyote tracks, although they are typically smaller (2-3 inches long) and daintier.

#2 What kind of bird left these tracks?

Good try! Wild turkey tracks are about four inches long with three toes. The center toe points straight forward and is longer than the other two. Look for turkey tracks in open pastures or old farm fields, where the birds forage for leftover grains.

#3 What is one way to tell the difference between a coyote track and a dog track?

Oh no! Coyotes typically run or walk in a straight line, with each paw print almost directly in front of the next and with few meandering lines. Domestic dogs, on the other hand, aren’t as worried about conserving energy, so they wander all over the place, frequently crossing over their own paths.

#4 How many toes does a river otter have?

Yikes! A river otter has five toes!

#5 What shape is a white-tailed deer track?

White-tailed deer tracks are heart-shaped! When walking slowly, deer barely lift their feet, so you can also look for drag marks between each step.

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Put on your sleuthing hat and try to spy some of these tracks in CVNP once the snow is plentiful! If you find anything interesting or want to share your photos, tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #forcvnp.

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