Vertebrate use of nontidal wetlands on Galveston Island, Texas.
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The nontidal wetlands of Galveston Island, Texas, depend on local rainfall for freshwater, and many dry out during the summer. Evaporation and innundation by storm tides cause salinities to rise; they decline when heavy rainfalls flush out the saltwater. Aquatic emergents are the dominant vegetation. Nontidal marshes provide important habitat for many kinds of wildlife, especially birds. In a comparison of two wetlands, one natural and the other man-made, the natural area received equal or greater use by all aquatic bird groups except the black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) and American coot (Fulica americana). Nontidal wetlands are the only available habitat on Galveston Island for may amphibians and reptiles.