The northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) is an economically important gamebird that is currently undergoing widespread population declines. Despite considerable research on the population ecology of bobwhites, there have been few attempts to model population dynamics of bobwhites to determine the contributions of different demographic parameters to variance of the finite rate of population change (λ). We conducted a literature review and compiled 405 estimates of 9 demographic parameters from 49 field studies of bobwhites. To identify demographic parameters that might be important for management, we used life-stage simulation analyses (LSA) to examine sensitivity of λ to simulated variation in 9 demographic parameters for female bobwhites. In a baseline LSA based on uniform distributions bounded by the range of estimates for each demographic parameter, bobwhite populations were predicted to decline (λ = 0.56) and winter survival of adults made the greatest contribution to variance of λ (r2 = 0.453), followed by summer survival of adults (r2 = 0.163), and survival of chicks (r2 = 0.120). Population change was not sensitive to total clutch laid, nest survival, egg hatchability, or 3 parameters associated with the number of nesting attempts (r2 <0.06). Our conclusions were robust to alternative simulation scenarios, and parameter rankings changed only if we adjusted the lower bounds of winter survival upwards. Bobwhite populations were not viable with survival rates reported from most field studies. Survival rates may be depressed below sustainable levels by environmental conditions or possibly by impacts of capture and telemetry methods. Overall, our simulation results indicate that management practices that improve seasonal survival rates will have the greatest potential benefit for recovery of declining populations of bobwhites.
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.