As field scientists, we often need to leave out permanent plot markers – flags, metal and plastic posts, metal tags for trees. We worry that humans may disturb these markers, but more often than not, animals are the ones to interact with them.
These plastic posts were used to mark a plant community study, and they are riddled with bite marks. In the chestnut oak plot, the metal tags we use to number trees have been gnawed to bits, making them impossible to read.
Who is doing this, and for what purpose? We speculate the culprits may be squirrels and other rodents or possibly deer. Any ideas?