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Monday, February 6 • 4:20pm - 4:40pm
Technical Session. Variations in Annual Ring-necked Pheasant Survival in Southwest Nebraska

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AUTHORS: Jenny R. Foggia, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Joseph J. Fontaine, U.S. Geological Survey Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

ABSTRACT: Variations in annual survival rates of Ring-necked Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) are determined by a number of intrinsic factors, such as age and sex, and extrinsic factors, such as resource availability, climate, and management actions. Both consumptive (direct mortality) and non-consumptive (fear/stress) effects on survival are apparent among intensely harvested populations. A recurring challenge among management of harvested populations is determining whether mortality due to exploitation is additive or partially/completely compensatory. Previous studies of annual Ring-necked Pheasant survival have shown similar mortality trends among hunted and non-hunted groups exposed to hunting pressure, indicating that hunting mortality is compensatory. However, very little data exists which explores the role of hunting pressure on Ring-necked Pheasant survival when coupled with extreme climatic fluctuations, and whether or not the two interact to affect annual survival rates. In the absence of such data, it is unclear whether harvest mortality remains compensatory, or is additive to natural mortality, thus reducing overall survival rates. Using survival and climate data collected between 2011 and 2016, we will explore the relationship between hunting pressure and climate on annual Ring-necked Pheasant survival. Furthermore, using a unique study system in Southwest Nebraska, which restricts harvest to only male Ring-necked Pheasants, we are able to differentiate consumptive and non-consumptive impacts of hunting pressure on our population of interest. These data may be used to inform harvest regulations in subsequent years.   

Monday February 6, 2017 4:20pm - 4:40pm CST
Grand Ballroom B