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Observing wildlife Q & A

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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With recent interest in members wanting to learn some basic tracking I thought a Q & A might be in order.
I will use the forums datbases for most of the questions including the tracking section and the 4 Aussie tracking books that I have also recommended in this forum.
There is no need to answer on the forum if you don't feel comforable you can PM me or just wait till I give the answer to self judge in about a months time. As we proceed the questions may become more difficult and more involved.
The questions will be Aussie based and I hope all will find this section valuable, including the newby - novice - experienced and international members. it will not only include tracks and scat but habits and habbitats.
This is also a place you may like to ask any questions you have and get answers from one of our members.
Please not I am a self taught person so I too am learning so lets start each month or so I am thinking of giving 10 questions at a time.

Have fun:)

First Q & A

  1. 1. What is the bipedal gait of Macropods called?
    2. What maybe the only visible part of foot print of awombat travelling at top speed even in soft ground?
    3. What two tools do you believe can help teach or learnTracking other than books?
    4. How can you tell, if a platypus burrow is active?
    5. What is the best time of day to view tracks?
    6. How many native Animals have hooves?
    7. What is Australia’s largest native mammal carnivoretoday? Not the dingo
    8. What is scat?
    9. Describe a bandicoot digging/scratching?
    10. Where would you look/find for an Australian Wood Ducknest?
 
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BOD

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I'm going to fail boss but here goes:

1. What is the bipedal gait of Macrods called?

Don't know what they are

2. what maybe the only visible part of foot print of a wombat travelling at top speed even in soft ground?

outer edge ?

3. What two tools do you believe can help teach or learn Tracking other than books?

observation of animal and practice

4. How can you tell, if a platypus burrow is active?

spoor at entrance?

5. what is the best time of day to view tracks?

when sun is low. evening better than morning.

6. How many native Animals have hooves?

none?

7. What is Australias largest native mammal carnivore today? Not the dingo

Tassie devil?

8. What is scat?

I know this one. Looking for it is part of my job. Poo.

9. describe a bandicoot digging/scratching?

no idea . be interested to see an example

10. Where would you look/find for a Australian Wood Duck nest?

In grass shrubbery somewhere near water or is this a trick question and its up in the trees?



Thanks for taking the trouble to do this quiz. Makes me realise I know far too little of native wildlife.
 
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Templar

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1. Hopping/Bounding/Leaping
2. Claw impressions
3. a Sand trap and tracking stick
4. (not had much experience looking for Platypodes)
5. before 10am or after 3pm
6. None... same as Antarctica
7. On the main land only - the Spotted Quoll, including Tassie - the Tassie Devil
8. The solid waste excreations of animals, especially Carnivors, but used to identify the droppings of most animals.
9. A small conical hole often with the spoil thrown back behind where the animal was digging (see here BOD - http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showt...-a-fire-What-the-remains-of-logs-can-tell-you)
10. In the hollow of a tree close to or above water
 

Hairyman

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Just to add...
3. Traditionally hands and twigs can be used to recreate a track in soft sand.
4. Look for a damp/wet slide from the burrow to the water.
5. Also after rain, in dusty conditions, on freshly graded roads and paths.
8. Scat can be shat scat or regurgitated scat such as from an owl or python.
9. May be numerous holes in the area, could also be from echidnas, rabbits or betongs.
10. The tree hollow may be from a meter to many meters above the ground and some distance from water.
 

auscraft

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By the way guys just because I give a thanks does not mean you are right or wrong you need to wait :)
 
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auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Answer time.
1. What is the bipedal gait of Macropods called?
Richochet( All maropods) coined by E. Muybridge to describe the sustained bipedal leaping.
Punting (all Macropods) which may include tail drag.
The answers Templar has given are also used but does not describe the actual Bipedal motion.

2. What maybe the only visible part of foot print of awombat travelling at top speed even in soft ground?
The claw impressions
3. What two tools do you believe can help teach or learn Tracking other than books?
Many answers can apply here so here are what I see as the most bennifical.
hand drawings can be used to recreate a track
Sand trap
tracking stick

observation of animal and practice
4. How can you tell, if a platypus burrow is active?
damp/wet slide clear of debris from the burrow to the water
5. What is the best time of day to view tracks?
Early morning and afternoons. Also cloudy days, after rain or after large disturbance eg. fire. clearing.
6. How many native Animals have hooves?
NIL
7. What is Australia’s largest native mammal carnivore today? Not the dingo
On the main land only - the Spotted Quoll, including Tassie - the Tassie Devil
8. What is scat?
The solid waste excreations of animals it can be shat scat or regurgitated scat such as from an owl or python
9. Describe a bandicoot digging/scratching?
typical digging A conical pit with an approx opening of 7 cm. Scat can be found in area. These digs are to get to the invertebrate larvae. the base of holes go to point the opening can be as small as 3-4cm and little as 6-10 deep, but often more than 10cm openings and 15cm deep. Often many holes in same area. With dirt scrapped out in a single direction
10. Where would you look/find for an Australian Wood Duck nest?
IN tree /Branch hollows from a meter to many meters above the ground and some distance from water.
 
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Bezerker Viking

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This is a really great thread Auscraft, thankx I have learned a few things already.

3. What two tools do you believe can help teach or learn Tracking other than books ?

I think a decent digital camera with video is also an essential tool for everyone.
#1. To take photos of tracks obviously, you can always look up a database later and compare them.
I never leave home without mine now.

I usually carry a stick with me whenever I'm out in the bush.
I also recently made a doco type video of myself tracking an elusive wallaby. :)
 
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auscraft

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This is a really great thread Auscraft, thankx I have learned a few things already.

3. What two tools do you believe can help teach or learn Tracking other than books ?

I think a decent digital camera with video is also an essential tool for everyone.
#1. To take photos of tracks obviously, you can always look up a database later and compare them.
I never leave home without mine now.

I usually carry a stick with me whenever I'm out in the bush.
I also recently made a doco type video of myself tracking an elusive wallaby. :)

A very good answer creating your own database is fantastic and is apart of personal observations thats my thoughts. Also with taking photos also record scale by using a measuring device in pic.
 
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Bloffy13

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Only just came across this but I didn't cheat and got 6-7/10. I say 6-7 because I was half right about the duck.
Here's a thought, maybe the first person to get the most right gets to take up the lantern. That takes the pressure off Auscraft to produce and we get a variety of different perspectives. Saw this sort of thing before when I was active on the Delicaclub forum. They had a photo competition where the winner became the next month's judge. Was very interesting.
If not, then keep them questions coming, Auscraft. This was fun.
By the way, is the Chuditch the same as the Spotted Quoll?
Keep up the good work.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Bloffy the chuditch is the western Quoll.
Thanks for your comments.
Bloffy if you got a few questions to ask go right ahead
 

Blake

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Great thread auscraft!

I'm trying to learn more on tracking so Im going to ask what is probably a silly question.

Can someone explain to me what a "tracking stick" is? Thanks!
 

auscraft

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Remember the only silly question is the question never asked.
The tracking stick is a stick, walking pole or length of Dowel that usually has four movable bands to measures different track measurments. The most useful of these would be the stride measurement as once you have this marked you can move the stick in an arc to help locate the next track.
I will try and get more detailed answer showing its use and so forth.
 
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Bloffy13

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Thanks Blake, I was wondering the same thing.
Thanks Auscraft for the explanation. Like you said, a tutorial or a demo would be great.
Sorry, no questions at the mo but will follow this thread closely.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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A little more info I will still do a tutorial with demo of how it is used and a few hints on troublesyou may have.
But so you understand it a little better.
I would /do use a 1200mm length of dowell myself with 4 orings that fit ,this length helps with the punting gait of macropods not a lot of help with large roos richocheting.
I use 5 bands on mine but for the time being I will explain only 4 . you could use just 2 bands using/measuring the first and third step
Sharpen one end of the dowell, and put on 4 Orings.
First from tip to 1st band wil de length of print
Second from 1st band to 2nd will be width of track
third from tip to 3rd band will be the stride
Forth from the 3rd to 4th will be the straddle.
This is the easiest way to lay out the measurments but I will explain how to alter them for tracking macropods. this will be limited due to the fact of thier strides when moving fast.
 
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Hairyman

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The tracks of two different animals in wet sand next to a gravel road.
DSCF5768 (640x491).jpg
DSCF5765 (640x480).jpg
What animals?
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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How long do we have to make an educated guess. forget the the educated part how long have we got to guess:)
Do you have any other veiws broader area shots?
 
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Hairyman

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How long do we have to make an educated guess. forget the the educated part how long have we got to guess:)
Do you have any other veiws broader area shots?

No set time , a couple of days.
Below is a pic taken about 8am today (24hrs later) of the same track in the top pic with a bit more traffic over it.
The top of this pic points north. It rained on and off the day before the first pic was taken.
At least 3 species now. A keen tracker may be able to name the species and what order the passed by in.

DSCF5787 (640x481).jpg
 

Templar

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Hmmm... starting from the top left..
1 - Pademelon, most likely a Red-Legged Pademelon
2 - Canine, either a domestic or wild
3 - Canine, what looks like a Fox (washed out in the middle of frame)

Fox was there first, followed by the Pademelon and finally the Dog...

A lot of traffic for a small area... what is it all close to?
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Thanks Hairyman
very trying test well done and look forward to answers
 
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