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The Tracker's Field Guide
A Comprehensive Field Guide for Tracking in the United States
by James C. Lowery
More than simply determining where an animal crossed the road, tracking can lead to a study of how the animal uses its habitat, how it travels, where it feeds or hunts, how it breeds and raises its young, and how it survives. In this book, Jim Lowery distills his expertise, gained over decades of intensive research and practical field experience, into a comprehensive field guide to tracking North American mammals.
The Tracker's Field Guide includes some interesting features that are not covered, or not covered as well, in the other books. First, Lowery has included a simple comparison chart for print identification that makes it possible to quickly narrow down the possibilities based on the number of toes, the shape of the track, and whether or not claws are visible in the tracks. Next, the shaded and labeled tabs along the edges of the pages make it a snap to jump to the right family of animals for additional information. Once there, you will find, in addition to the photos and drawings of the tracks, a side-by-side comparison of multiple different gaits commonly used by each species. The book also includes photos of the tracks in context, showing trail segments and sign. Interestingly, Lowery maps out real-world examples, illustrating actual events he has observed in the wilds. These examples, along with the comprehensive text, provides the reader with a sort of window into the secret lives of the animals that live all around us. Lowery also includes some coverage of pressure-releases, connecting the dots between the type of soil displacement in the tracks, and how fast the animal was moving.
Based primarily on his experiences in southern California, Lowery's book has a slightly western slant to it, but it covers in detail a wide variety of mammals, including all type of cats and dogs, rabbits and hares, rodents, weasels, raccoons, opossums, bears, insectivores, and an array of ungulates including sheep, burros, feral pigs, deer, and even llamas. The Tracker's Field Guide has a water-resistant, wipe clean cover with pre-rounded corners and extra-durable binding made to withstand the rigors of field use. It includes more than 500 high-resolution black-and-white photos plus hundreds of first-rate drawings. Falcon Press. ISBN: 0-7627-3981-9. 406 Pages. 2006.
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