Discover Animal Tracks: Home

Did you know that you can learn a lot about an animal's behavior by studying their tracks?

Bird Tracks

Roland zh

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported


The Project!

Did you know you could learn about an animal's behavior, feeding patterns, and habitat by studying its tracks? By learning to identify animal tracks, you will discover which animals live in your own backyard! You can maintain a healthy habitat for these creatures and you'll have fun. Learning how to track animals is like detective work. Animals not only leave tracks, but bits of fur, claw marks, and scat (or droppings.) By learning to read tracks you can try to figure out how the animal behaves and why. Get outside and discover the world around you!

This workshop will provide you with the tools to identify animal tracks and places to begin your exploration. It also has video tips, games, and ideas for locations to search. 

First Meeting: We will make a variety of footprints and talk about how they change based on the way we walk. We will talk about how this might apply to animals in the wild.

Second Meeting: DNR volunteer will come to our site with a variety of pelts and photographs of regional animals. Students will learn about the animals' behavior and touch each pelt to compare and contrast the size of each animal and the type of fur. We will discuss where the animals may live in our area and why.

Third Meeting: We will practice casting different tracks on site, learning different techniques as we go.  Students will share suggestions with each to get the best possible casts.

Fourth Meeting: Field trip time!  The students will plan a couple areas to go searching for tracks.  Students will works in teams as they photograph tracks, try to identify them, and then create a track cast.  Other animal evidence can be collected as well.  They will also be documenting their findings in field journals.

Fifth Meeting:  During this meeting, the students will analyze their findings.  They will clean up and examine their casts, as well as the casts of classmates.

You will print the journal sheets and use some of the images to begin your search.  Visit the links to continue learning and exploring throughout the year!

You'll Need:


 Notebook to gather your evidence.    

Something to write with.

Measuring tape to measure print size.

Field guide with animal print examples and information.

Plaster for making casts of tracks.

Camera for documentation.

Choose the Link to Watch the Animal Track Video!