Animal tracks @ Galibore

The mud road that runs past the Galibore Nature Camp is a fascinating stretch to study animal tracks. A lot of wildlife traffic passes on this road each night, and the next morning can be very well-spent trying to read them.

Animal tracks are seldom as clearly defined as the drawings or photographs we see in guides. A smooth surface of fine-grained sand is required to capture that sort of print, and that kind of surface is rarely found outside of a Pug Impression Pad (PIP). The sand is often coarse, the ground hard, and prints superimposed upon each other. Cattle or deer prints can make a mess of the surface too. Reading animal tracks therefore takes skill that comes with practice. Thomraj is a pastmaster at just that. He takes in all the details at a glance and can see patterns that are tough for us to decipher even when pointed out. He can often reconstruct what occurred hours earlier from poorly captured prints – a leopard leaping off the track, a Black-naped hare rolling on its back and so on.

All the tracks featured here were visible in the course of each outing.

junglefowl1

Grey junglefowl

grey-wagtail1

Grey wagtail

peacock2

Peacock

red-spurfowl

Red spurfowl

snake2

Snake

cattle4

Cattle

buffalo1

Buffalo. Larger than cattle tracks. The split hoofmarks run in parallel unlike the cattle tracks which are pointed at the forward end.

chital4

Chital. Heart-shaped.

sambar1

Sambar. Larger than chital prints.

pig2

Pig. Unlike the chital’s pointed ends, the pig’s two halves run roughly in parallel.

langur3

Langur

porcupine-drag-marks

Porcupine drag marks. More easily captured than paw prints.

porcupine2

Porcupine. The heel pad shows two distinct sections, which is a key diagnostic.

mice1

Mice leave a profusion of tiny tracks.

20161011_081114

Bull elephant. Fore and hind feet. The circular print to the right is of the hind foot.

jackal1

Jackal

junglecat2

Jungle cat

20161011_081232

Sloth bear. Forepaw to the left.

leopard5

Leopard. There were three sets of tracks, two proceeding in one direction and the third in the opposite direction.

4-horned-antelope-pellets

Pellets of the Four-horned antelope. The animal has the habit of returning to the same spot to drop pellets, making it vulnerable to poachers.

slothbear-scat

The sloth bear’s scat shows a grainy texture.

antlion

Antlion’s pit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Animal tracks @ Galibore

  1. Superb documentation of the animal tracks! This is very useful for anyone visiting the forests, to keep a close eye on the ground too and look for these signs/ marks. Thanks for sharing these Badri.

  2. Awesome, Badri.. Love this document!

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