Nest predation is thought to be one of the major factors limiting northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations. We examined the relative impact of altering nest-predation rate, nesting habitat, and weather (i.e., temp and precipitation) on northern bobwhite population dynamics in a hypothetical 15,000-ha subtropical-rangeland ecosystem in south Texas using a simulation model. The systems model consisted of a 3-stage (i.e., eggs, juv, and ad) bobwhite population with dynamics influenced by variables affecting production, recruitment, nest predation, and mortality. We based model parameters on data collected from a 3-yr nest-predator study employing infrared-camera technology, from ongoing field research using a radio-marked population of wild bobwhites, and from the literature. The baseline simulated bobwhite population dynamics corresponded closely to empirical data, with no difference between medians of simulated (n = 30 yr) and observed bobwhite age ratios over a 28-yr period. Similarly, a time-series comparison of simulated and observed age ratios showed most (89%) observed values fell within the 5th and 95th percentiles of the simulated data over the 28-yr period. We created simulated population scenarios representing 1) baseline historical conditions, 2) predator control, 3) low precipitation, 4) low precipitation with predator control, 5) high temperature, 6) high temperature with predator control, 7) reduced nest-clump availability, and 8) reduced nest-clump availability with predator control that resulted in considerably different median bobwhite densities over 10 yr. For example, under simulated predator control, populations increased by about 55% from the baseline scenario, whereas under simulated reduced nest-clump availability, populations decreased by about 75% from the baseline scenario. Comparisons of time-series for each scenario showed that reduced nest-clump availability, low precipitation, and high temperature reduced bobwhite densities to a larger degree compared to a natural nest predation rate. Reduced nest-clump availability resulted in the most substantial decline of simulated bobwhite densities. Simulations suggested that management efforts should focus on maintaining adequate nest-clump availability and then possibly consider nest predator control as a secondary priority.
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. 75 • No. 1