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Parent C.J.,Michigan State University | Hernandez F.,Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research InstituteTexas iversity KingsvilleKingsville78363 | Brennan L.A.,Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research InstituteTexas iversity KingsvilleKingsville78363 | Wester D.B.,Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research InstituteTexas iversity KingsvilleKingsville78363 | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2015

Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations have declined across their range. The decline is associated with broad-scale losses of their habitats. Additionally, the presence of essential, structural features provided by vegetation in the remaining habitats is contingent on variable spatial and temporal trends in precipitation. This complicates the management of the bobwhite's habitats. We modeled counts of bobwhite coveys as a function of landscape structure and precipitation covariates from arid landscapes in southern Texas. Our results indicated that numbers of coveys in landscapes with greater amounts of woody cover were predicted to be highly independent of precipitation. This has important management implications because certain landscape structures associated with woody cover buffer bobwhite populations from drought. To facilitate management based on our results, we mapped our model predictions for covey counts. This allows managers to spatially prioritize where management interventions need to occur, and evaluate the potential efficacy for these interventions to create positive bobwhite population responses. © The Wildlife Society, 2015. Source

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