Skip to main content

This program may be scheduled for any age group and requires at least two weeks of advance notification due to limited center staff and volunteer availability. Participants in this program must be able to tolerate walking on loose sand soil for a distance of no less than one mile in the climate typical to the time of year in which the program is booked. Water, bug spray and sunblock are recommended. The length of this program is three hours.


A great variety of wildlife existing in the world around us that we may be unaware of if we don’t take time to become familiar with signs animals leave behind. Often biologists working with specific species do not get all of their information from live animals. Information can be left behind the animal in many forms that still provide good insight into how healthy or how old an animal is or what it is eating. In this program, we will focus not on seeing animals in the wild but also on seeing how animals use the wild and what signs they leave behind for us to interpret.

Pre-visit recommendations:

  1. Review terms:
    • Trace evidence: a very small piece of something left behind in this case by an animal
    • Tracks: the footprints of an animal in soil
    • Scat: the digested remains of an animals meal after excretion
    • Remains: parts left over after other parts are removed
    • Habitat: the natural place where an organism lives
  2. Review tracks of animals common to local area
  3. Discuss different types of animal homes


  • Indoor demonstration of animal track ID and distribution of guides
  • Practice casting animal tracks
  • Discussion on the types of animal evidence we will potentially see
  • Track reading exercise (students create tracks with their feet and paint to see how  movement can be seen in tracks)
  • Wildlife bones box
  • Guided one-hour hike to look for animal evidence
  • Review and evaluation

Post Visit:

  • Play animal track bingo to see how well they remember the tracks
  • Create animal track stamps using potatoes to allow children to make prints of their favorite track
  • Dissect owl pellets
  • Create plaster casts of animal tracks you find in the school yard