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Monday, February 6 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Technical Session. Space, Place and Ring Necked Pheasant: Hot Spot Analysis of Distribution of Ring Necked Pheasant in Eastern South Dakota

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AUTHORS: Sprih Harsh, South Dakota State University; Andrew J Gregory, Bowling Green State University and Travis Runia, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks 

ABSTRACT: Ring necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is one of the most popular upland game birds of North America. In South Dakota, the upland game hunting with pheasants as the target species has become a multimillion-dollar industry and thus these pheasants are the most sought after game birds since its introduction in the state in early 1900s. Identifying concentrations of this species along with underlying causes for their spatial distribution can help in its better management and conservation. We did a hot spot analysis of pheasant per mile (PPM) data obtained from pheasant brood surveys, annually carried out by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, for the period from 2006-2015 to identify these clusters across eastern South Dakota. We found that out of 89 locations which were part of this analysis, 34 locations were part of hot spot in one or many of those years. For finding out regions being hot spot from 1 to 22 years, we created a minimum convex polygon (MCP) for hot spot locations each year and them combined them to have an area with all the 34 points. In order to find out which part of this area were coming under hot spots for how many years, we overlaid this combined MCP with a hexagon layer with each hexagon an area of about 2.59 km² and then extracted hexagon grids which were hot spot for required number of years. We found a pattern among these grids. Grids with 1 year being hot spot started from the outer portion of MCP and kept on shifting towards the center of MCP as the number of years increased with the hexagons which were hot spot for all 22 years mostly concentrated between Brule and Aurora County. The next step would be to identify the reasons behind this pattern of hot spots which can mostly be attributed to the changes in habitat types over the years and also on the weather condition in some particular years. We found that spatial methodologies has the potential of obtaining previously undiscovered insights which can provide important information to decision-makers for planning better strategies for wildlife management and conservation.

Monday February 6, 2017 2:20pm - 2:40pm CST
Grand Ballroom B