Monday, February 23, 2009

Track of the Week 20

This track is a little obscure, see what you can figure out.

Setting: In the woods in the hills just east of Snoqualmie pass mid October 2008.

1. What species?

The main thing that is visible here is the heel pad. The only thing that large with a heel pad that shape in our area is a bear. It is theoretically possible for it to be a grizzly, but highly unlikely because they are quite rare in Washington. If there were clearer toes and/or claw marks I could say with even more confidence, but am still quite sure that this is a track of a large black bear (Ursus americanus).

2. Which foot?

I am less confident about this answer given the lack of detail in the track, but here goes: The track is facing toward the left side of the image. With the relatively abrupt hind edge of the track, I believe this is a front track. The left side of the heel pad appears a bit wider. It seems that generally the outside of the front heel pad tends to be wider, so I think this is the track of a front left foot.

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