Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tracking Moose

Moose - Alces americanus

The photo above shows a hoof print in the snow. A typical print usually shows the 3rd and 4th toes. The two dimples behind the hoof are impressions from the dew claws, which are the 2nd and 5th toes, and these are more commonly seen with the front feet, which carry more of the weight of the animal. The photo below shows a more pronounced impression of the dew claws.

The photos above and below show Moose prints in the ice along the Elbow River. The river freezes along the shallower sides and creates a smooth, albeit slippery walkway for many forest animals. The photo below is deeper and shows the impression of the dew claws. 
The photo below shows typical Moose poop. This poop is typical of scat produced with the autumn and winter diet. The Moose in my region prefer willow and dogwood shoots. The poop still has a bit of a sheen and has not dried out, which implies the scat is fairly fresh and likely only a few days old.
The adult male Moose below was photographed browsing for plants in the wallow close to Mount Engadine Lodge. Both male and female Moose urinate in wallows and the scent is important in the autumn mating ritual.
Naughton, Donna. The Natural History of Canadian Mammals. Univ of Toronto Press. 2012. 

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