Hunting News

Friday, January 15, 2010

EFFECT OF HARDWOOD REMOVAL ON BOBWHITE QUAIL POPULATIONS AND ASSOCIATED PREDATORS

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Stribling, H. L.

PERFORMING ORGANIZATION

FORESTRY & WILDLIFE SCIENCES

AUBURN UNIVERSITY

AUBURN,AL 36849

NON TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Northern bobwhite quail populations have suffered a dramatic decrease across their entire range since 1960. In some areas populations have dropped as much as 70% and lead some biologists to predict unhuntable populations by the year 2005. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect that removal of hardwood blocks has on quail populations and associated predators.

OBJECTIVES: Determine effect of hardwood removal on quail nest predators pre and post. Determine effect of hardwood removal on quail nesting success and relative population size pre and post.

APPROACH: Year-round monitoring of radio-tagged quail will provide information on cause specific mortality, nest success and brood survival. Quail with radio transmitters will be used. The control area and each study area will be monitored using a minimum sample of 40 radio-tagged birds during both winter and summer for an annual total of 80 for each study block each year. A census of mammalian and avian predators will be conducted prior to and after hardwood removal to evaluate the treatments effect on these populations. Quail population estimates on these sites pre- and post-hardwood removal would be provided by fall covey counts as well as harvest records and other data from quail hunts.

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