Nondestructive documentation of animal activity on planted and unplanted dredge material
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Monthly photographs of 1 m2 areas were taken to document the activity of terrestrial and aquatic animals on dredge material in the intertidal zone of Bolivar Peninsula on Galveston Bay, Texas [USA]. The presence of raccoons and birds was inferred from tracks. Hermit crab tracks and stranded shells were apparent in many of the photographs. Holes attributable to such organisms as fiddler crabs, polychaetes, mollusks and bird feeding were common at all elevations. Qualitative and quantitative differences in animal activity were noted between elevations in the intertidal zone, and transects perpendicular to and across the beach in various habitats showed similar characteristics. The photographic technique described is useful in recording surface animal activity which may subsequently be related to observed variations in benthic infauna through predation by birds and mammals.