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
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Drawn based upon National Park Service image
Photo: Katie Collins
Photo: J. Maughn
Mountain Lion, Cougar(Puma concolor)
Family: Felidae (Cats)
Gait: gallop, lope, overstep walk, trot
Form: retractable claws; round toes
Front Foot: 5 toes; 3.3 in (8.3 cm) - 4.0 in (10.2 cm)
Hind Foot: 4 toes; 2.8 in (7.0 cm) - 4.0 in (10.2 cm)
The front leg has a toe that is high up and does not register. The toes and paws all register to the same depth.
Scat is large mount and volume. It varies in shape from irregular cylinders to pellets and frequently contains traces of hair or bone. Males urinate on loosely piled debris to mark their territory.
Mammal Guide - Mountain Lion