The natives and animals of a region have adapted to their environment. To get a feel of the area, watch how the people go about their daily routine. When and what do they eat? When, where and how do they get their food? When and where do they go for water? What time do they usually go to bed and get up? These actions are particularly important to you when you are trying to avoid capture.
Animal life in the area can also give you clues on how to survive. Animals also require food, water and shelter. By watching them, you can find sources of water and food.
Animals cannot serve as an absolute guide to what you can eat and drink. Many animals eat plants that are toxic to humans.
Keep in mind that the reaction of animals can reveal your presence to the enemy. If in a friendly area, one way you can gain rapport with the natives is to show interest in their tools and how they get food and water. By studying the people, you learn to respect them; you often make valuable friends; and, most importantly, you learn how to adapt to their environment and increase your chances of survival.
Information courtesy of the U.S. Army Survival Manual