Experienced trackers know that a lot of information can be obtained from the footprint of an animal: gender, age, where it went and how long ago it was. Traces of lynx in the snow are quite characteristic and it is not difficult to determine them. The traveler who discovered them not only has the opportunity to see this wild cat, but also to study its behavior in its natural habitat.
- Features of the structure of the paw and lynx trail
- 3 Determination of trace freshness
- 4 Determination of driving direction
Features of the structure of the paw and lynx trail
The lynx has an average build. It is characterized by the length of the body in the range 110-120 cm and weight about 30 kg. The cat leads a sedentary, secretive way of life from people, so it is not always possible to detect it.
The lynx is well adapted to low temperatures and plenty of snow. In this regard, it can be found in most parts of Russia. The exceptions are only some areas of the far north and southern steppe zones.
Like all representatives of the cat, the lynx belongs to the fingertip species of animals. This means that when walking, the support is made on the toes, and not on the entire foot.
All her four limbs are equipped with sharp retractile claws. It has five fingers on its front paws, and only four on its hind legs. But at the same time all the prints on the surfaces will have a four-toed print. This is due to the fact that the fifth finger is smaller and is located above the rest, therefore when moving it does not touch the ground.
The lynx has rather large round-shaped paws. The average size of the print varies from 6 to 9 cm, if measured at the edges of the crumbs. It should be borne in mind that the front limbs are wider, but shorter than the rear. In winter, the imprint of a wild cat on snow can have a diameter of up to 15-17 cm. This is explained by the presence of thick fur on its paws, which blurs the outlines of the tracks. But even this does not confuse the animal with other representatives of the fauna. The only exception is that the snow-covered footprint looks like the paws of a snow leopard, it is also an irbis, but it is rather difficult to find a place where both cats live together.
Features of movement
Traces of a lynx in the snow are different from wolfs or foxes, since they are located not in a straight line, but in a snake. If the snow is not deep, then prints of the hind limbs will be slightly ahead of the front. If the snow drifts are significant, the animal will move, putting its hind legs in the hollows from the front.
In addition to the winding nature of the trajectory of the big cat, another of its features is the frequent presence of signs that the animal sat down or lay down on the snow. The load on the cover of a lynx is not large, which allows it to hunt even in conditions of loose snow. If the tracks are deeply sunk deep enough, and it is difficult to determine their affiliation in form, then this can be done by the length of the step.
The rate of entry varies as follows:
- Adult male – 60-80 cm. Depth in a snowdrift – up to 30 cm;
- Adult female – 45-47 cm. Depth – up to 16 cm;
- Cubs – 35-40 cm. Depth – up to 14 cm.
Even with the ability to move through soft snow, the lynx, if possible, would prefer more comfortable trails to the snowdrifts. And if necessary, masking, will pave the tangled path through the trees, stumps and ice.
First of all, you need to know that the lynx can move quickly enough, especially if it is in the process of hunting. During the day she is able to overcome several tens of kilometers, so if the trace left by her does not look fresh and can be attributed to him at least two days, then most likely the animal has gone a very far distance and there is no search for it.
Completely inexperienced naturalists can use the comparison method to assess the freshness of the wake. For this, it is necessary to leave a print of your hand next to the paw print found. This will help assess the characters of the prints and understand how they differ. If there are very few differences, then most likely the mark was left by a trot not so long ago.
The fact that the paw print was left recently can also be indicated by the presence of light powder of snow around the depression. This powder is formed when removing the limb from the fossa, and if it has not yet had time to fully align with the rest of the snow surface, it means that the animal did not have time to go too far. The snow trail tends to flatten and harden under the influence of low temperatures. And the harder the build-up is on it, the more time has passed since it was abandoned. On average, this process begins to occur after 20-25 minutes, but if the frost is below 15 degrees, then the time can be reduced to 10-13 minutes.
A very simple way to determine the freshness of traces left is to use a simple stick or branch. She spend along the imprint, dividing it in half. The result is estimated as follows:
- Easy to cut. The trail is fresh, it is less than 6 hours;
- When cutting the stick slightly deviates to the side. The print is more than 6-7 hours, but less than a day;
- The trail cannot be separated, and the branch is slightly deformed. The lynx was in this place more than 24 hours ago.
Be sure to remember that weather conditions can affect the character of the prints of the paws. For example, a strong wind can disperse them within a few minutes. For this reason, the most delineated traces are easier to detect in ravines or ravines than in open areas.
Determining the direction of movement
To determine the direction of the trot, it is necessary to have an idea about some of the concepts:
- Hemming – rear wall of the track;
- Vyvolova – front wall.
The trotting of a lynx is always longer than being dragged. If you look closely at the trail, you can see that one side of it is always flatter, and the other is steep. This results from the fact that the animal lowers a paw at an angle, and raises it almost straight. In this case, the front wall is often compacted and deformed, and the back is well-defined. It is the steeper and shorter walls of the trace that will indicate the direction of movement of the cat.
Persons who have experience in locating wild animals know that footprints are not the only indicators by which they can be guided. No less informative are their feces, claw marks and food debris.