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Ann Schaefer

About The Author

It's time to become forensic animal detectives!! Have you gone camping and discovered in the morning that you had a visitor while you were sleeping? Have you gone out to the woods and seen a fleeting glimpse of a critter only to find it left a few signs of some of it's activities? After a fresh snow have you run into your backyard to discover you weren't the first one to make tracks?


Animals leave signs that can tell you if they are male or female, how they live and what they feed on. Their tracks can reveal if they were walking, feeding, pursuing prey, or evading predators. It's all in knowing what to look for. Tracks is an interactive, fun-filled guide that will help you identify animal tracks and signs, and get a little glimpse into your local wildlife.


Tracks is a tracking field guide for children and beginners. We included photographs of the animals we discuss, as well as photos of their tracks along with very clearly labed sketches demonstrating what to look for. We added interesting or gross animal facts. Additionally, we teach the science terms but immediately define them. Lastly we included a few fun identification games like Match the Scat.


Tina Howell has been tracking wildlife for the past 50 years. She has been inspirational in encouraging women and children to love the outdoors and wildlife. Along with the Schaefers’ lifelong passion for the outdoors, hiking and biology, Tina inspired a passion for animal tracking. She took the immense patience of teaching Ryan introductory tracking. She provided him with a handful of her hand-drawn sketches

Ann Schaefer has a degree in biology from Boise State University and John Schaefer has a zoology degree from Arizona State University.

Ryan Schaefer was having difficulty in school. He struggled with dyslexia and ADHD and despite working hard every night and all summer long, when he returned to school, teachers always said he was worse. When he hit second grade, Ann and John decided it was important to learn that learning is fun. The family decided to write about what they love: animal tracking. Together they tracked, photographed, and researched wildlife, and this book is the result.

At age 12, Ryan is in love with all science and received a Messier award in astronomy. He is a certified scuba diver and loves all ocean wildlife. He is working towards a future in paleontology and was ecstatic to participate in a paleontological dig in Montana. He continues to be passionate about tracking. He still can’t spell worth beans.

Ann Schaefer


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