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Footprint Finder

Tracking tunnels can help you find out what creatures might be living in your backyard. Small mammals like tunnels, so they scamper in to get the bait and then leave their footprints on the paper as they pass through.

Footprints of backyard creatures.

On the Kids Restore the Kepler field trip back in 2013, we got some cool ideas for getting involved in local conservation. In this video, the ‘Bugman’ Ruud Kleinpaste talks about tracking tunnels.

Ponder this

Consider the following questions. You could talk about your ideas with your favourite people at home or online.

  1. How do the animals leave tracks in the tunnel?
  2. What bait is used to attract animals into the tunnel?
  3. What are some other baits that might work to lure animals in?
  4. What footprints might you find in a tracking tunnel at your place?


Make your own tracking tunnel

Try this KCC activity and make your own tracking tunnel

Backyard spy on Wild Eyes has another way to make a tracking tunnel.

Check your tracks

Use this footprint guide from Landcare Research | Manaaki Whenua to see what different footprints look like so you can tell what’s in your backyard.

Upload to iNaturalistNZ to help with your footprint identification.

Ask an adult to post a picture of your tracking tunnel or the footprints you managed to get on Instagram. Use the hashtags #learnztrips, #trackingtunnel, or email a photo to LEARNZtrips to tell us about your discoveries and creations.

We’ll share some of your images on our Instagram space @learnztrips.

Want to know more?

Find out more about how students are playing their part in the Kids Restore the Kepler community conservation project. Get ideas on how to get involved in a conservation project of your own.

Please Note: You’ll need to login to these spaces. The username is golearnz and the password is journey (all lowercase).