March 7, 2010

Learn to be a track star

Upcoming workshops can help you spot clues that identify the critters sharing your world.

By Deirdre Fleming dfleming@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

20100212_AnimalTracks
click image to enlarge

Bridie McGreavy leads a group into the Holt Preserve to identify animal tracks. From left are McGreavy, Leigh Hayes of Bridgton, Derby Cartmill of Casco and Miriam Gibely of Sweden.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

20100212_AnimalTracks
click image to enlarge

Participants in a Lakes Environmental Association animal tracking seminar happen upon a series of pawprints in the snow.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

ANIMAL TRACKING

COME LEARN ABOUT animal tracking with the Lakes Environmental Association at 7 p.m. March 19 at 230 Main St., Bridgton. Snowshoes and flashlights will be available to borrow.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF $5 for programs are appreciated. Call 647-8580 to register.

And smaller mammals are found statewide, too, like bobcats, red and gray foxes, fishers and raccoons and cautious snowshoe hares. Our state's also got opossums, skunks, woodchucks and turkeys. And around bog land and marshes, there are muskrats, minks and otters.

With so many small mammals here it's easy to miss a clue when tracking and think the print says one thing when it really says something else.

"The big challenge is with the weasel family, because the males are bigger than the females and overlap in size," McGreavy pointed out while studying a set of tracks along a small stream bed.

"So the female otter is the same size as the male fisher; the female fisher is the same size as the male marten; and the female mink is the same size as the male weasel. You can't be a 100 percent confident with a weasel."

Definitely two sets of tracks running side by side can be deceiving – like two words of a foreign language that look the same.

But even in moments of confusion, McGreavy's got tricks to help track.

"When in doubt, follow it out. That's part of the language of tracking," she says.

 

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

dfleming@pressherald.com

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

20100212_AnimalTracks
click image to enlarge

Miriam Gibely of Sweden records clues to an animal track found in the Holt Preserve during a Lakes Environmental Association seminar last month. LEA has another animal tracking seminar scheduled for this month, at 7 p.m. March 19 in Bridgton.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

20100212_AnimalTracks
click image to enlarge

Environmental educator Bridie McGreavy points out significant clues as to what animal may have made a set of tracks.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

20100212_AnimalTracks
click image to enlarge

Leigh Hayes of Bridgton and Miriam Gibely of Sweden use charts to identify tracks found at the Holt Preserve in Bridgton.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer



Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)