Friday, May 02, 2008

Mink Tracks

I didn't really know what to expect for the tracking over on Kruzof, but it turned out great. Shortly after we arrived we came upon this gorgeous mink trail.

It appeared that the mink liked to run along the water's edge so we were able to estimate when it made the tracks by how high the tide would have been and knowing the times of the tides. I don't remember exactly but think we figured this trail was made at something like 2 in the morning. From other trails we found it seemed that was a fairly active time for mink in that area, though there were also trails at other levels as well including one that we came upon in the middle of our day that may have been made since we arrived on the island.

These are pretty classic mustelid tracks. The one above is the front right, the one below the hind right. Note the five toes, clawed, with small inner toe almost not showing up. Without that fifth toe they look fairly similar to canine tracks.

Mink hind tracks are supposed to be a little bigger than the fronts (it appears to be at least partially due to more space between the toes and heel pad), but one thing I notice here that I don't recall having read anything about is that the toes on the front foot appear to be larger than on the hind.

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