This guide initially displays common tracks of all shapes. Use the selectors below to view particular shapes, include rare species, or search by name.
Anything that moves over the ground leaves some sort of marking of its passage. In particular, footprints left behind in soil, snow, mud, or other ground surfaces provide a means of recognizing different species. The illustrations and characteristics listed below highlight key features that can be used to identify the tracks of many of the animals in the area.
Alderness Wilderness College
Animal Track ID [PDF]
Elbroch, Mark, 2003 Mammal Tracks and Signs: A Guide to North American Species
Lowery, James, 2013 Tracker’s Field Guide. Falcon Guides
North Woods Guides
Subject Area Experts (all guides)
Steve Cary (butterflies)
Beth Cortright (insects)
Terry Foxx (invasive plants)
Leslie Hansen (mammals)
Richard Hansen (fish, mammals)
Dorothy Hoard (butterflies, trees)
Chick Keller (flowers, herbarium)
Shari Kelley (geology)
Kirt Kempter (geology)
Garth Tietjen (reptiles)
David Yeamans (birds)
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Drawn based upon US Geological Service image
Photo: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Family: Canidae (Canines)
Gait: gallop, lope, trot, understep walk
Form: semi-retractable claws; round toes
Front Foot: 5 toes; 1.3 in (3.3 cm) - 2.1 in (5.3 cm)
Hind Foot: 4 toes; 1.2 in (3.0 cm) - 1.8 in (4.6 cm)
The first toe on the front paw is further up the leg and usually does not register. The track is broader than other canines and often does not have the typical "X" shape.
Scat tends to take the shape of twisted cords. However, given the variety in diet of the fox, the shape and color can vary considerably.
Mammal Guide - Gray Fox