jamesedwardthornton's picture

Stoat Prints

Observed: 3rd February 2011 By: jamesedwardthorntonjamesedwardthornton’s reputation in Mammalsjamesedwardthornton’s reputation in Mammals
stoat prints
Description:

Found on a sandy area between Woodland and small ponds.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Simon Roper's picture

Four or five pads

Footprints are always a challenge and I love the detection we have to do to come to a conclusion (not always possible). These are good prints, but seem to lack the five toes expected of the stoat. Not quite sure how big they are. To me, they look dog like, with the four toe pads and the crescent shaped hind pad close behind - in the fox this pad is a bit further back. With tracks, looking at the sequence in front and behind the specimen can be fun, to try and tell if the animal was walking or running. Plaster casting of prints is also great fun and keeps them for future discussions.

jamesedwardthornton's picture

Yes without a size I can see

Yes without a size I can see how you couldn't tell. At first it was thought to be mink because it was near freshwater, but the size wasn't right, and we contacted a few people and came to the conclusion it was a Stoat.

the naturalist man's picture

Stoat print

Can you measure the prints, without a scale it is very difficult to identify these. It is probably a mustelid, could be weasel, stoat, ferret or mink. The fifth toe could be missing if the animal was bounding.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

Simon Roper's picture

Tending towards dog still !

Sorry team - it just looks too canine - it appears to be quite soft mud so I would expect the fifty digit to show. Are we talking size of a 50p or bigger? Also, that rear pad so close to the front digits.... hmmm. A real detective challenge this one...

jamesedwardthornton's picture

I've uploaded another picture

I've uploaded another picture with a knife for scale. I don't have it unfortunately, but the blade is 84mm so i'd put the knife in the picture at about 95/100mm, and the prints at about 20mm across.

I also have a picture of the animals prints. Judging from the distance apart, I can't imagine it's from a dog.

Even though they could be wrong, someone good with tracks saw them in person, and we sent the photo off to another and Stoat was agreed.

I can't do anything else with these as I'm not at the location anymore.

the naturalist man's picture

Prints

Your new prints are the clearest yet. See them for continued discussion and why I'm happy these are stoat.

http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/164360

Thanks for this detective puzzle!

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411