Northern bobwhite response to habitat restoration in eastern oklahoma

Wildlife Society Bulletin
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation; Oklahoma State University; Nature Conservancy's Weaver Grant Program; Oklahoma Ornithological Society; Payne County Audubon Society
By: , and 

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Abstract

In response to the decline of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter, bobwhite) in eastern Oklahoma, USA, a cost-share incentive program for private landowners was initiated to restore early successional habitat. Our objectives were to determine whether the program had an effect on bobwhite occupancy in the restoration areas and evaluate how local-and landscape-level habitat characteristics affect occupancy in both restoration and control areas. We surveyed 14 sample units that received treatment between 2009 and 2011, and 17 sample units that were controls. We used single-season occupancy models, with year as a dummy variable, to test for an effect of restoration treatment and habitat variables on occupancy. We found no significant treatment effect. Model selection showed that occupancy was best explained by the combination of overstory canopy cover and habitat area at both the local and landscape scales. Moran's I revealed positive spatial autocorrelation in the 1,000-3,000-m distance band, indicating that the likelihood of bobwhite occupancy increased with proximity to other populations. We show that creating ≥ 20 ha of habitat within 1-3 km of existing bobwhite populations increases the chance of restoration being successful.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Northern bobwhite response to habitat restoration in eastern oklahoma
Series title Wildlife Society Bulletin
DOI 10.1002/wsb.351
Volume 37
Issue 4
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Society
Publisher location Bethesda, MD
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 8 p.
First page 733
Last page 740
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N