• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Sobriety checkpoint Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Law Enforcement officers at Padre Island National Seashore will conduct a Sobriety Checkpoint Saturday, August 23, 2014 on Park Road 22 near the park’s entrance. The purpose of the checkpoint is to detect and apprehend alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069 or (361) 949-4793. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp

corpusfishing.com

Ghost shrimp are appropriately named because they are totally transparent. Despite their shrimp-like appearance, they are actually more closely related to crabs. Four distinct species of Ghost shrimp have been identified as inhabiting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Found at water’s edge, they burrow down in seafloor sediments, collecting bits of food. Though they are small, reaching up to three to four inches, Ghost shrimp can dig burrows that can be four feet deep. They are an important part of intertidal ecosystems, because they drive oxygen into the sand as they burrow, which helps organic matter to decompose, enriching the sediment, and ultimately providing food for more creatures.

 
Ghost shrimp burrow casts that were made by US Geologic Survey

The US Geological Survey made casts of Ghost shrimp burrows to better understand their lives below the surface of the sand.

USGS

Outside of the National Seshore, fishermen use them as bait, using a plunger-like sand pump that sucks the shrimp out of their burrows, but are allowed to collect no more than 20 per day. At the park, these shrimp are protected from being used as bait by fishermen, and extracting the shrimp is prohibited in order to provide a healthy food supply to migratory birds. Even though they are close to the bottom of the food chain, Ghost shrimp are hardy animals, and can survive for up to six days without oxygen. At low tide you can often see little volcano-like holes in the sand, which are Ghost shrimp burrows. At the water's edge, the world underneath your toes is complex and dynamic, and Ghost shrimp are among many other creatures that call this fragile habitat their home.

Did You Know?

NPS arrowhead

The Laguna Madre is one of only six lagoons in the world that is hypersaline (saltier than the ocean). More...