Tracking at the Oregon Sand Dunes

Water is a Tracker’s Best Friend

I pulled my nose a bit closer to the bone dry, deeply fissured clay and squinted slightly in an attempt to get a better look at the tracks that lay before me as the sun reflected off the clay into my eyes. Jonah Evans, a veteran wildlife tracker and biologist with the Texas Parks and […]

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The Phylogenetic Tree

Why are there no green mammals? A graduate student colleague of mine was recently faced with this question in her PhD qualifying exams. The professor told her that she was not to discuss sloths—which appear green due to algal growth in their fur—nor was she to argue that green coloration must not be adaptive (evolutionarily […]

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Rabbit Tracks and Sign

It was mid-January in Western Washington, and the snow was coming down hard on my yurt seven miles up the mountain from town. The power was out, the roads were treacherous, and no end was in sight. It might have been my imagination, but I swore I heard all the wildlife trackers in the area […]

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mountain lion

Mountain Lion Tracks

The morning was gray, and the group was full of tension and excitement. It was day one of the CyberTracker Track & Sign Evaluation with Mark Elbroch, one of the first in North America. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that I was a little on edge. At the three forks of the Snoqualmie River in […]

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Coyote Tracks and Sign

The two animals trotted south in the wet sand along the ocean’s edge about 60 feet up from the beach. They passed over the spot where a bald eagle had landed, by the carcass of a seal, across a stream that flowed out of the woods and down the beach and into the ocean. They […]

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blacktail deer buck

Black-tailed Deer Tracks and Sign

It was an early September morning in Western Washington, and I was slowly migrating from animal tracks and sign dreamland to reality. I had slept in the pasture next to my house, taking advantage of the last warm nights before the rain and cold set in. Hearing a rustle to my right, I opened my […]

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Bobcat Track and Sign

“Got the trail?” I called. “Yup!” another voice rang out, clear in the white stillness of a snowy forest above a stream ravine. It was a chilly Friday morning at Wilderness Awareness School’s high school program, Community School. Four of us—two instructors and two young women—had fallen into a rhythm as we followed the deteriorating […]

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