Patterns of space and habitat use by northern bobwhites in South Florida, USA

European Journal of Wildlife Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

The manner by which animals use space and select resources can have important management consequences. We studied patterns of habitat selection by northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) on Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area, Charlotte County, Florida and evaluated factors influencing the sizes of their home ranges. A total of 1,245 radio-tagged bobwhites were monitored for 19,467 radio days during 2002-2007. The mean (?? 1 SE) annual home range size, estimated using the Kernel density method, was 88. 43 (?? 6. 16) ha and did not differ between genders. Winter home ranges of bobwhites (69. 27 ?? 4. 92 ha) were generally larger than summer home ranges (53. 90 ?? 4. 93 ha). Annual and winter home ranges were smaller for bobwhites whose ranges contained food plots compared to those that did not; however, the presence of food plots did not influence summer home ranges. We used distance-based methods to investigate habitat selection by bobwhites at two scales: selection of home ranges within the study site (second-order selection) and selection of habitats within home ranges (third-order selection). Across both scales, bobwhites generally preferred food plots and dry prairie habitat and avoided wet prairies and roads. This pattern was generally consistent between genders and across years. Our data indicate that management practices aimed at increasing and maintaining a matrix of food plots and dry prairie habitat would provide the most favorable environment for bobwhites. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Patterns of space and habitat use by northern bobwhites in South Florida, USA
Series title European Journal of Wildlife Research
DOI 10.1007/s10344-010-0393-x
Volume 57
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title European Journal of Wildlife Research
First page 15
Last page 26