• What are the best surface types to find tracks?
– Snow, mud, sand, creek banks, road side dust,
dried puddles, beaches
• When is the best time to observe tracks ?
– In the morning, can estimate age of track by
amount of weathering
• What does size of track show?
– Juvenile/adult, male/female?
• What are the different structures of feet?
– Toes, claws, number of pads, arrangement, amount
of foot on ground, shape of print
• Sand boxes
• What gaits do Australian species
– Hop, bound, run, jump, waddle, crawl,
slide or creep
• What does stride length show?
• Gaits of introduced species?
– Walk, trot, gallop
• Using Triggs book, have a go at
ID’ing A to G, pp. 8-9
• Check your answers!
• Cylindrical (sausage) shape, fragments of
bone, twist of hair at one end of scat
• May have white chalky substance on outer
layer (from bones)
• Strong odour
• Variations in scats: diet, seasonal change,
• Territorial markers
• Lots of herbivores!
• Look at the size of the poo.
• What’s in it? Marsupials extract moisture – dry
grass in poo.
• Consider main diet – Koala (leaves).
• Consider place – Wombats wipe their bum!
• Kangaroos and Wallabies groom – so can have
hair mixed in.
• Koala rarely and Wombats never groom.
• Why is scat ID important?
• Identify species of animals in area (many
– Also what eaten & when
• Guide to animal size, weight, age
• Herbivores – general characteristics?
• dark brown, black, dark green
– Fibrous plant material
– Large quantities
– Weathered: lighter color
– Usually groups of pellets
• Shelters: open grassland, hollows in trees,
under logs, burrows, tunnels, grassy
nests, caves, forks of trees (coppice),
• Claw marks, diggings
• Landing places
• Bones (anatomy similar)
• Effect on vegetation
• Rocks own the site (largely determine what can
occur. Soil over time?)
• Climate manages the site (water critical element
in SE Aust. Creates and limits possibilities)
• Biota occupy the site (subject to rock and climate
• Aspect imposes site restrictions (north sloping
vs south sloping)
Reflect on the trip (pairs)
• What aspects of this trip were useful in
– Contrast with a canoe or climbing trip?
– What is the role of knowledge? Eg, flora,
– Role of experiential elements? Walking,
• What made sense and worked best for
Assessment items -
• The Nature Diary (3 visits minimum)
– Visits to date?
– Frame of reference?
– Reflections on connection to place?
• Final due date and presentation
summary October 17th
Assessment items -
• Assessment 2
– What are you planning on doing?
– Need to see me about trips now, so you can
– Do you need time in class to present?