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I understand that when you see animal droppings in the wilderness, it's referred to as "scat." I have heard scat referred to when referencing bear, coyote and mountain lion droppings. For example, would you refer to pig or chicken droppings as "scat"?The Wikipedia article on feces, seems to indicate that scat is used in reference to wild animal droppings only.

Deer (and formerly other quarry animals) – fewmets Wild carnivores – scat Otter – spraint Birds (individual) – droppings (also include urine as white crystals of uric acid) Seabirds or bats (large accumulations) – guano Herbivorous insects, such as caterpillars and leaf beetles – frass Earthworms, lugworms etc.

– worm castings (feces extruded at ground surface) Feces when used as fertilizer (usually mixed with animal bedding and urine) – manure Horses – horse manure, roadapple (before motor vehicles became common, horse droppings were a big part of the rubbish communities needed to clean off roads) Using scats to identify animals All animals leave scats, whether it's a native animal such as a possum, or a feral fox or cat.

Snakes, birds, lizards, even insects - if you start looking for them you'll find scats everywhere.

Becoming familiar with animals scats is the only way to learn to distinguish them, according to National Parks and Wildlife NSW officer Dan Lunney. The common thing is that you get very good at identifying the scats of one particular animal," he said.

Once you've gained a familiarity with them, scats are a valuable way of finding out what kind of animals are around you and where they live.

Below are a few simple tips to get you started at looking at scats.

It can be a tricky business, and a good guide is useful.

It's important to find out what sort of animals are around in your area so you know what you are looking for. It is specifically used in the context of tracking and similar to when you are using it to identify and track the animal in question.

As such it also comes under the general heading of 'spoor' which can include any signs left by an animal including hair, foot/paw/hoof prints, evidence of feeding and damage to vegetation etc.

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