Saturday, August 16, 2008

Unknown Animal Photo

As I try to document the existence of Eastern Cougars in Appalachia, one method I favor is trail cameras. These motion-censored cameras will take a picture of anything which passes through their field of view. Great for capturing the happenings in the forest when you are not around. That is why the Eastern Cougar Foundation is rather fond of these inventions. My camera was located in Southwest Virginia, and had captured anything of real interest. Until I found one particular picture; though it was not because the photograph had a definitive animal. What I am interested in is determining what animal is captured in the black, just beyond the range of the flash. It has all the likelihood of being a deer, but what if it could be a cougar? What I can tell by the image is the animal is large, bigger than a house cat, from other pictures. And it appears it is the backside of the animal, with its back legs and maybe tail. If anyone can help me determine the animal in the photo, it would be appreciated.


Pam Croom said...

I think it is a white tail fawn. The "pants" are distinctly bicolored. I'm not sure that would show up so distinctly on cougars. Also, I think the hind knees are visible-if it were a cougar it would be a really big one!
Above the 2nd tier of leaves I think is a head and ears that look rather deer like.

I think I read that a cougar kit was found as road kill in Missouri-breeding going on there!

- clark - said...

Thanks for the comment. I see the points of references you pointed out. It is probably 100% a White Tailed Deer. I'll keep trying for to get that picture of a mountain lion which will confirm their existence.

nanodelle said...

I think it's great that you've got this camera!
Without trail cameras, Emil McCain would never have been able to photograph "Macho B," the most famous borderlands jaguar in the US (AZ, NM). Unfortunately, Macho B had to be euthanized a couple of weeks ago. However, trail cameras (if they're not disturbed by supposed drug-traffickers) are a great way to see wildlife.

- clark - said...

Its definetly a great way to observe the animals which are around when people are not. Its also a way biologiests have worked on animal populations in areas. In the past few years they have found these cameras to be useful for endangered and rare animals in remote locations. Sad for Macho B, but it turns out he had a medical problem. It goes to show that those animals once extinct, can migrate back into an area. That is what I'm hoping for cougars in the east.