Escondido Wildlife Professionals Conduct Tracking Workshop

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The Escondido Creek Conservancy hosted partner organizations on June 21 at the George Sardina Shelter to learn about wildlife monitoring. The event was coordinated by the San Diego Habitat Conservancy and led by the San Diego monitoring team.

During the event, which included staff from the Natural Resources Management Center and the Elfin Forest Recreation Shelter, the trainers focused on teaching small, medium and large mammal identification techniques. For example, attendees learned the difference between feline and dog footprints.

“We saw traces of lions, deer, skunk and squirrels,” said Juan Troncozo, director of protection at Escondido Creek Conservancy. “We could also see owl pellets, bird lime (bird coop) and quail traces. Often these animals do what they can to avoid humans. “The ability to identify traces gives us an idea of ​​the species of animals that exist, which can be an indication of the health of the ecosystem.”

The canine pieces generally have a vertical oval shape with four toes and a heel cushion. The third and four toes are parallel to a neat pleat behind them.

Also, on a dog track you can draw an “X” on the heel pad. If you draw a line starting from the inside of the fifth toe to the opposite bottom of the heel pad and a line from the inside of the second toe to the opposite side of the heel pad. This will form an “X”.

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Animal footprints have very distinct characteristics based on their physiology. For example, some animals such as mountain lions carry more weight on their front legs, so their front legs are larger than their hind legs.

Other smaller animals, such as raccoons, carry more weight on their hind legs, so their hind legs are larger. If the animal climbs, digs, hunts prey or runs away from predators, this will determine the characteristics of their legs.

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