We conducted a study to determine whether the nonnative axis deer (Axis axis) exhibited behaviors that could be negatively impacting ponds and pools in ephemeral channels. To assess behaviors, we collected game camera-trap images at two sites within the Texas Hill Country with naturally occurring standing water sources frequented by A. axis. We analyzed images of A. axis for behaviors including wallowing, territorial marking, and drinking. We also analyzed water samples for turbidity and Escherichia coli, in order to determine potential impacts of axis deer on water quality. During this study, we observed only drinking behaviors by A. axis. Water quality parameters did not significantly correlate with A. axis visitation rates. The observations suggest limited impact of A. axis on water sources, contributing to a greater understanding of A. axis behaviors and potential impacts within the Texas Hill Country.
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Vol. 65 • No. 1