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Local Tracks of North America "Quick-Guide" to Commonly Seen Animal Tracks & Scats Pamphlet – January 1, 2006
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This laminate compiles many of Elbroch's track photos and illustrations into a compact, waterproof package ideally suited for discussions around mud puddles. This small fold-out has its limitations, of course. It includes a limited number of species, the tracks are not shown life-size, and it may not fit in your pocket.
But it weighs almost nothing in your day pack, and packs a lot of information onto it's 12 panels. It shows illustrations (and sometimes photos) of not only 52 species of mammals (more than some field guides), but also 21 birds and a sampling of invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians.
This little "Quick-Guide" will allow you to easily compare tracks side-by side and help you at lest narrow down what you are looking at. For people who lead nature programs, it gives you images you can use to point out key features that distinguish similar looking tracks. It's a fine addition to any tracker's or naturalist's bag.
Obviously this is not exhaustive, many common animals are left out. Not all tracks have photos. It does not show distance and placement of the tracks. It is too large for the average pocket.
The photos and drawings of tracks are large and clear enough to be seen easily (though I have to squint to see the scat clearly). There are a wide variety of tracks, broken into Canine, Bear & Wolverine, Felines, Hooved, other mammals by size, Birds, Invertebtrates, Reptiles, and Scat. The lamination will protect it in the field.
This is convenient and easy to throw into a bag or pack for a hike or campout. Especially good if you work with youth (such as the Boy Scouts). It is not very complete, but a complete guide would be heavy, take up much more room, and be harder to use. Since the purpose is to provide a quick reference to "common" tracks in the wild for the uninformed, I would say most of the "Cons" are unimportant. I would recommend this if you want a simple track/scat identifier that is easy to use and light enough to take anywhere. I am really impressed with the scat pages, because I have often asked, " what left *that* here?"
If you are looking for tracks only, "The Ron Cordes Pocket Guide to Animals/Tracks with Andy Diamond" (laminated spiral-bound booklet, drawings only, no scat info, 3.75" X 4.5") might be more useful.
Advice to the publisher:
Make more but smaller panels to make it truly pocket-sized.
Lose the animal photos. Lose the Invertebrates.
Add information such where the animal is normally found (so some reader doesn't insist he has found a moose track in Georgia).