How To Identify Signs of Wild Animals - Inspecting Tracks and Scat

How To Identify Signs of Wild Animals

Learn how to identify signs of wild animals on your property by inspecting tracks and scat.

How To Identify Signs of Wild Animals

It’s helpful to know exactly what type of animal is visiting your property so you can deter it effectively. Many animals slip in and out of your yard under the cover of darkness. Use our easy identification guides to figure out which animals are causing problems. Get your kids involved and teach them how to identify local wildlife.

Click HERE to read ‘How To Keep Pest Animals Out of Your Garden’

How To Identify Signs of Wild Animals

Here Are The Two Main Ways To Identify Signs of Wild Animals

1. Inspect The Tracks

Unless you have very hard ground, concrete or rock, you should be able to distinguish at least a few paw prints in softer ground. If you suspect an animal is visiting the same location, you can spread a light covering of flour over the ground. This will help reveal any paw prints.

Compare the tracks you find to the above diagram of known tracks. Cat-like prints will usually be from large cats such as a cougar or bobcat, while dog prints could mean wolves, fox or coyote, depending on the size. Deer also leave distinct marks, as do rabbits.

Familiarize yourself with the footprints of animals commonly found in your area to make identification simpler.

2. Check For Droppings or Scat

If animals are visiting your garden, as well as tracks, they will most likely leave droppings or scat behind.

Scat identification is a great way to pinpoint exactly which animals are visiting your property. Carnivores use their feces to mark out their territories, so these are often left in conspicuous places. Always use rubber gloves to handle animal droppings.

See the scat chart below to help identify wildlife:

How To Identify Signs of Wild Animals

Your FREE animal droppings ID guide

Use this free guide to improve your animal dropping ID skills.

Download a free printable copy of the Scat Chart HERE.

How To Identify Wild Animals By Tracks and Scat

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Drew Waters

Drew Waters is the founder of He writes regularly to assist farmers and gardeners find ways to co-exist with wildlife while protecting their investments from wild animal attacks. Drew lives in Berkeley, Ca with his wife and daughter.

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