Knowledge of the possible role of cyclic behavior in wildlife dynamics assists in understanding and managing populations. Using spectrum analysis, we analyzed time series (1978–2002) on the abundance of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) in several ecological regions in Texas, USA, to test for the presence of cycles; we also tested whether drought severity (Modified Palmer Drought Severity Index) exhibited cyclic dynamics and whether quail and drought cycles were synchronized among regions. We found evidence of population cyclicity in all ecoregions we tested (5 for bobwhites, 4 for scaled quail) based on both Texas Parks and Wildlife and North American Breeding Bird Survey count data. Periods of the observed cycles generally were 5–6 years (bobwhites) or 2–3 years (scaled quail), depending on ecoregion and data source. Cyclicity was most pronounced for bobwhites in the Rolling Plains (north TX) and the South Texas Plains. The Palmer Index exhibited a roughly 5-year cycle in 5 of 6 regions we tested. A 5-year bobwhite and Palmer Index cycle were synchronous in 3 contiguous ecoregions totaling 27,200,000 ha. Wet–dry cycles seemed to synchronize bobwhite cycles in Texas. Our results suggest that habitat manipulations aimed at improving habitat conditions during dry periods, such as reducing livestock stocking rates, could provide ground cover similar to that available in wet periods.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 71 • No. 3