March 30, 2012

Tracks & Sign of Reptiles & Amphibians!

Alderleaf instructors, Fil and Jason, have just begun work on an exciting field guide project about the tracks & sign of reptiles and amphibians!

The book project is aiming to break new ground by determining ways to differentiate the footprints and other evidence left behind by many species of herps. Fil and Jason are making trips (in between teaching classes) out to each region of the country to gather data over the next two years. The goal is to add new knowledge to the field of wildlife tracking to aid trackers and biologists.

Here's a few photos from Jason's recent research trip to Texas:

This is a green anole (Anolis carolinensis) we found:

Here's a photo of the track made by its front foot:

And here's a photo of the actual front foot (notice the uniquely-shaped expanded toe pads):

Here's the track made by the hind foot:

And the actual hind foot:

Here's a cricket frog (Acris crepitans) we came across:

These are the tracks left by the cricket frog (the front toe tips are not expanded, unlike most other genera of very small frogs):

This is a keeled earless lizard (Hobrookia propinqua) we spotted in the field:

The keeled earless lizard left this scat:

Here's a texas tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) we came across in the field. It was feeding.

Here's a close-up of the hairy cat's ear plant the tortoise was eating:

Stay tuned for more updates in the future!

Interested in learning wildlife tracking skills? Check out Alderleaf's Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship.