High productivity and survival of ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) were correlated with high rainfall and cool temperatures in May and June during an 8-year period in southwestern North Dakota. These findings differed markedly from those of several earlier studies in the less arid midwestern United States where cool, wet weather in the spring generally affected pheasant populations adversely. General trends in the pheasant population could be explained on the basis of precipitation in May and June. The population was relatively high during the mid-1950's when wet and dry May and June periods occurred in alternate years but declined markedly after 2 consecutive years of spring and summer drought. The population remained at a static low during 1960 through 1963 when wet and dry spring and summer periods again occurred alternately.
Additional Publication Details
Weather and pheasant populations in southwestern North Dakota