An ENR Graduate Exit Seminar will be presented by Mauri Liberati on Friday, Dec. 14th, at 11:00 a.m. in 382 Kottman Hall. Her presentation will be 'Spring Dispersal and Breeding Ecology of Northern Bobwhite in Southwest Ohio.'
Bobwhites are a popular upland game species of economic importance throughout their range and despite nearly a century of research, population declines continue to be documented at both state and national scales. Precipitous population declines and range-contractions in the Midwest have been caused by land-use changes associated with urbanization, modern farming practices, and vegetation succession. Poor reproductive success is also implicated in declines of grassland bird populations and may be a factor limiting population recovery in this region. Reproduction that replaces annual mortality is essential to sustain viable populations but it is unclear if recovery of the Midwest’s bobwhite population is limited by reproduction vital rates. Radio-telemetry was used to investigate spring dispersal and breeding ecology of bobwhites during April-September 2010-2011 on 4 private-lands study sites in southwest Ohio. Vital rates for this population were estimated and compared to other bobwhite populations in the United States. Nest success was further investigated based on macro- and microhabitat characteristics at nest sites. This study fills an information gap in knowledge of spring dispersal, reproductive vital rates, and breeding ecology and behavior of Midwestern bobwhites near the northern limit of their range and has implications for their conservation in this region.
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