Monday, October 8, 2012

Cybertracker quiz question #1

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a CyberTracker Evaluation
workshop in southwestern NH, with evaluator George Leoniak. With his
permission, I am going to share some of the exam questions. I'll try
posting the photos one by one as quiz questions, and hopefully some of
you will take a stab. I have about 10 I'd like to share and will keep
going as long as people are interested. Feel free to ask any questions
about the evaluation in general, as we go along.

For some background, I attended the 1-day eval, which was basically
pass/fail, with passing scores receiving a level 1 certificate. But if
you attend a 2-day eval, it's possible to get a level 2, 3, or 4,
depending on your score. The certification eval is described in more
detail here:

We were not given any info about the testing location or types of
habitat, other than the fact that it was in southwestern NH. After
meeting in Keene, NH, we car pooled to a sand quarry and spent most of
the day tracking there, and then a little time in the woods near a wetland.

This first photo was in the sand quarry at the side of a sandy, gravelly
road. There did not appear to be any tracks associated with the small
dark thing in the center of the photo. The question was which animal
made that sign. Any takers?


  1. I'll encode my guesses, so others can play along. You can encode/decode at

    My answer:
    Fgevcrq fxhax fpng, pbagnvavat vafrpg rkbfxryrgbaf.

    - Dan

  2. Rkpryyrag thrff, ohg jr jrer gbyq gung guvf fpng jnf gbb fxvaal sbe fgevcrq fxhax fpng. Ubjrire, va ybbxvat vg hc va Znex Ryoebpu'f gbzr, V frr gung gur ybjre yvzvg sbe fxhax fpng vf guerr rvtuguf bs na vapu va qvnzrgre. Gur fpng va gur cubgb vf cebonoyl nobhg n dhnegre vapu va qvnzrgre, gubhtu jr qvq abg zrnfher vg. Nffhzvat Ryoebpu qvq abg hfr n zvpebzrgre gb zrnfher uvf fpng fnzcyrf, naq jvgubhg xabjvat ubj znal ur zrnfherq, V crefbanyyl jbhyq fnl guvf vf cebonoyl jvguva gur znetva bs reebe. Abarguryrff, fxhax fpng jnf pbafvqrerq vapbeerpg.

  3. Just to let you know, if you would like to hazard a guess, the first attempt was incorrect. You can either decode the above 2 comments to find out what the guess was and why it is incorrect, or just post your own. I'll wait another day or so, and if no one else chimes in, I'll post the answer and move on to the next question.

  4. pnfg-bss furyy sebz n orrgyr be bgure vafrpg?

  5. The last 2 guesses are also excellent thoughts, but still not the answer accepted as correct by the examiner.

    Can I as: are you Anonymouses all the same person? Anonymous comments are always welcome, but it would helpful if you could sign a name, even if fake, so we can keep track of the conversation. Thanks!

  6. V'z tbvat bhg ba n yvzo urer. Naq V xabj gur ybpngvba qbrf abg fhccbeg gur thrff. Ohg, qnza vs gung qbrfa'g ybbx yvxr cvyrngrq jbbqcrpxre fpng. Gurer, V fnvq vg!

    Janet, one other thing: I'm wondering if the plural form of "Anonymous" might be "Anonymice."

  7. Yet another good guess. You're right, the location isn't right, but who's to say a Woody WP would NEVER poop on the side of the road?

    Yet, the appearance of this test item is, I have learned, classic for the responsible species, and the location not inconsistent.

    I don't know about that plural, but "anonymice" would have been a compelling answer for another one of these test questions which I may post in the near future.

  8. BX, V'ir orra guvaxvat "Nzrevpna Ebnq Gbnq" sbe n juvyr abj, ohg pna'g svaq n qrsvavgvir cvpgher ba gur Jro, naq V qba'g unir n obbx gung pbiref aba-znzzny fpng. Gung'f zl thrff.

    Vs jr'er fgvyy nyy jebat ba Jrqarfqnl, pna lbh ng yrnfg pbasvez gung jr'er ybbxvat ng n fpng gung vf znvayl pbzcbfrq bs vafrpg cnegf?

    - Dan

  9. We have a winner! Toad scat is correct! I, too, don't have a book with amphibian scats, I've never actually seen a toad relieve itself, and when I got home I couldn't find a picture of "American toad scat" on the web, either. But if you google just "toad scat", you'll find some photos of little poops that look suspiciously similar to this one. I am not sure if this is the typical size for the species...My guess is that it's a toilet clogger for an American toad.

    Anyhow, this was only the 6th question on the test (total of 36), and the first one I got wrong. It really shook me up because I hadn't even considered toad. I was thinking I'm hosed if the questions were going to be progressively more difficult. But alas, there were many easier ones thereafter.

  10. Of course it's toad scat! I see those turds under the light outside my garage all summer long. Duh. Way to go, Dan. Okay, Janet; post another one and make our brains work some more.