How good are you at identifying animal tracks in the snow? Snow coverage in winter reveals us the amount and versatility of wildlife we don’t usually get to see. How often do you see a wolf or bear in the wild in Finland? Probably never. It’s not common to get even a glimpse of wild animals, especially large carnivores, but if you head out to nature in winter and pay attention to the animal tracks in the snow, you’ll learn that the forest is full of life.
Some of the animal tracks are easy to recognize, but I still get many of them wrong when wondering in the forest in the winter. There are many things that influence on how to recognize the tracks. Think about your own footprints, they look pretty different on a thin layer of snow than in deep snow, and on dry snow versus wet snow. Older footprints also tend to get bigger than what they have originally been, especially if the sun is melting the snow. Animals move at different paces and at different ways, and that naturally influences on the tracks they leave behind. Many animals prefer to use trails in winter and it makes it hard to determine how many of them have travelled along the trail, let alone spot individual footprints.
Recognition often requires measuring the footprints and following the trail of them. This is not possible when looking at a single image of the animal tracks, so don’t take this quiz too seriously! There are also many other ways that animal can leave tracks than footprints, but we focused only on them in this quiz. Are you good at recognizing animal tracks in the snow, or is it something completely new to you? Take our fun quiz to test your knowledge about animal tracks in the snow!
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Many thanks for photos to Irja Höglund (otter track photo) and Marina Vieri (wolf track photo). Your kind contribution is highly appreciated!