Animal Tracking Flashcards

Animal Track Identification


Deer tracks

The front of the animal card (Deer track depicted here, note: dew claws do not always register, but when they do appear different on front vs rear feet. A way to distinguish front (top of card) vs rear track.) has an image of the animal's front and rear track, how to measure it (start and end points) including average sizes for each foot (not the entire range), and a quarter for a size reference. The typical walking pattern, or walking gait and how to measure it (length and width) is in the top right corner. There is also an outline of the track, what it would look like on ground that's difficult to read (forest litter, gravel, grass, etc.).

Unlike a standard animal track guide, what isn’t on the front is the name of the animal...


Individual Animal Cards

opossum track

The back of the card has details about the animal to help you find and recognize its tracks. How big is the animal. What does its normal walking pattern look like. How large is its home range. What are its eating and mating habits, and other general habits to help you find and identify the animal.   

The name of the animal is on the back of the card, along with a map of where it can be found. The cards are also organized by family (color code and family track, top banner). You can organize them by geographic region, family, or animals you are interested in – shuffle up the deck and test your knowledge!

Some cards have additional "tracking tips" at the bottom of the card.


Tracking & Awareness Skill Cards

wide angle vision

Understanding how to use your eyes is one of the fundamentals of tracking and awareness. Expanding your range of vision to pull in as much as you can is an important step in growing your awareness skills. (Wide Angle Vision skill card, front)

There’s more to tracking than just track recognition. A track by itself, without context is meaningless. Context is established through awareness. Awareness allows a tracker to understand why the animal is moving the way it is. The impact the landscape and environment are having on it. Awareness allows a tracker to find connections and patterns in their observations.

There are 10 tracking and awareness skill cards. The cards focus on techniques to help you expand your observational and critical thinking skills.


The skill cards include:

·      How to read the landscape to know where to find animals 

·      The process for identifying an animal track on easy and hard to read surfaces

·      How to read the age of a track

·      How to gauge an animal's weight through its tracks

·      Techniques for finding the next track in difficult terrain

·      How gender (through bone structure) can be seen in tracks

·      How to identify injury or lack of physical fitness (in people) in a track

·      Different stalking steps for moving quietly

·      The link between meditation and tracking, and wide angle vision


Tracking & Awareness Skill Cards

wide angle vision

I’ve included both the front and back of the wide angle vision (WAV) card here. WAV a very simple, yet powerful ability we all possess, but rarely use. Even if you don’t purchase a deck of cards, hopefully you’ll remember the skill and find a way to incorporate it into what you do. I use it constantly, not just when I track.


Family Cards

animal tracks guide

The animals are organized into 7 families. The family cards have information about the overall family, habits and patterns to help you identify tracks from a family member. Clear tracks are rare to find, general disturbances on the ground are more common. Understanding the walking style or gait of the animal is important. It will allow a tracker to begin to understand the family the animal belongs to, counting toes and looking for claw marks is also an important part of the identification process.


Family Cards

rodent tracks

Each family has its own color and a unique animal track in the top right corner of the card so you can organize the flashcards by family if you chose.

Overall patterns common among the animals of the family are captured here:

- how many toes are on the front and rear feet, do claws normally show in the tracks, any movement patterns that distinguish them from other animals, etc.

Many times clear tracks will not be seen. Understanding the movement patterns and habits of an animal will help you identify it. Tracking is about learning how to find and understand the puzzle pieces around you. Tracking is a fun way to test your observation and deductive reasoning skills.


Purchase a deck


 5 star review
Elegance in Awareness and Tracking
We have had a great time with these cards. We've been using them locally, have started incorporating them into our hikes, and will soon use them on our camping trips! It's a really sophisticated deck. It breaks down not just how to track animals, but how to increase your level of awareness, so you see, intuit, and understand more about your surroundings, regardless of context! I even apply these lessons in everyday situations. I will be gifting these to friends in the future, too!

- Melinda

 Silva Tracking, LLC

Silva Tracking