A look at a small part of a healthy Lophophora williamsii population in South Texas seen in mid-March of 2016. This property has never granted access to commercial harvesters (but has allowed private NAC access for ceremonial purposes. We owe both our access to this land and our thanks to that indigenous spiritual leader).
This video begins in the upper section of the control plants at the post-harvest regrowth study site [http://www.cactusconservation.org/CCI/regrowth.html] and then moves onto adjacent plants that were not a part of the study.
The golf balls serve as temporary markers and were placed by auxilary workers as the plants are found and then photographed. The balls are collected and removed as measurements are made and recorded by the primary researcher.
All of the test population lies within 1 meter of a 14-ga steel wire laid out as a transect line in 2008. The subjects are each marked with a numbered metal tag secured to a large nail and is accompanied by section of ½” rebar 10-14" long that has been driven into the ground.
The metal detector has proved itself to be invaluable in locating our subjects as water movement commonly buries the plants and/or their tags. The biggest problem we ran into in acquiring the right metal detector involved salespeople not believing that we were really and truly wanting to be able to specifically locate aluminum and iron rather than gold or silver. This tool has enabled us to be able to find all of our plants on subsequent visits without having to resort to the use of sprinkler flags such as is a common practice in similar studies of other cactus species.