In The Desert
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Next time your out roaming around in the desert and you find a set of animal tracks be sure to photograph them. You can then compare them to the track outlines shown here for identification. Many times tracks will look different if an animal is running or the soil is loose where you see the tracks. As you spend more time identifying these animals, and seeing the actual animal, then looking for the tracks from that particular animal you'll be better able to identify them. The tracks shown here are for reference only, but will give a good starting point. Many of the tracks ( such as different species of deer, antelope and sheep ) will take time to recognize and make a correct identification as they look very similar.
As you can see from the above, a lot of tracks are very similar. They do have distinct differences though and as you spend time looking at actual tracks left by animals that you've spotted you'll become familiar with these differences. Look closely at the above tracks and you'll see what we mean.
As you can tell from the above tracks there are certain animals that walk with their claws extended and others, like those in the feline family below, that don't. The Gray Fox track is not very good because of the hair on the bottom of their feet. But this is another way to identify the animal. None of these track imprints are scaled for size. Please keep this in mind.
Cougar, Mountain Lion
Family - Felidae
Family - Felidae
Smaller animal tracks
Utah Prairie Dog
Many of these animals have sub-species ( like the squirrels ). Most of the animals of the same species will have the same tracks or are very close to the same tracks. Some are readily identifiable, such as the Raccoon track. Raccoons have long toes like fingers while others like the Jack Rabbit have no discernable toes.