Day two of our Tracks and Sign course saw us discussing what tracks can be confused with others. In this case it was an Aardvark, a Warthog, and in some instances a Nyala, but especially with the Aardvark and the Warthog. An Aardvark has three strong claws, truly five, but three that register. If looked at quickly or in the wrong direction, the track looks like a Warthog that has stepped with it’s front foot and then put it’s back foot half way onto the front track. The giveaway is that when it’s an Aardvark track there will be two dots, or circular indents, on either side of the track, and the direction will be towards the sharp end, not the blunt end.
Later in the day we practiced Trailing by following each other. We split into two groups. One group went and laid a trail for two minutes. Then four minutes later the second group would follow. While doing this the person in front must go through a series of procedures so that the assessor knows that the tracker is seeing what they need to see. You must mark certain tracks, show that you can see the “Shinning Path”, (where an animal, or person in this case, has walked through grass), and follow the spoor without to much start and stop.
Although we were rained out early, it was an enjoyable day full of new learning and fun. Day Three will see us starting with the actual Track and Sign Assessment, so wish us all luck!
By: Noelle DiLorenzo – River Lodge Ranger