Rangewide trends in landuse and northern bobwhite abundance: an exploratory analysis
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): M. J. Peterson; X. B. Wu; P. Rho
Editor(s): S. J. DeMaso; William P. Kuvlesky; Fidel Hernandez; M. E. Berger
Publication Year: 2002

Cataloging Information

  • abundance
  • agriculture
  • Canada
  • Colinus
  • Colinus virginianus
  • Colinus virginianus
  • conservation
  • cover
  • croplands
  • distribution
  • fire dependent species
  • fragmentation
  • game birds
  • habitat
  • land use
  • landscape
  • landscape ecology
  • landuse
  • northern bobwhite
  • population density
  • range management
  • rangelands
  • spatial scale
  • Texas
  • threatened and endangered species (animals)
  • trends
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
  • wildlife management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46428
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22164
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Biologists generally assume that habitat loss, fragmentation, and conversion resulting from changes in landuse are primarily responsible for the nearly rangewide declines in northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) abundance noted since at least 1990. Few data-based analyses have addressed this relationship at broad spatial scales. We used data on northern bobwhite abundance from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS; 1966-1999) and county-level landuse from the U.S. Census of Agriculture (COA; 1978, 1987, 4997) to evaluate how 9 landuse variables related to northern bobwhite abundance at the rangewide spatial scale. We also explored the relationship between cropland cover and northern bobwhite abundance by state, physiographic region, and using a moving window approach. Although northern bobwhite abundance typically decreased at the rangewide spatial scale, trends in abundance varied considerably spatially, either exhibiting no trend or increasing in many western and northern portions of this species' range. While both spatial and temporal patterns in landuse were obvious, there were no clear univariate or multivariate relationships among these variables and bobwhite abundance that could be applied universally across this species' range. The relationship between cropland cover and northern bobwhite abundance based on physiographic regions was more interpretable than that based on political boundaries (states). When data were used to define spatial patterns between cropland cover and northern bobwhite abundance, sppatially consistent and temporally persistent patterns were obtained. We suggest that further research using moving windows of various dimensions, including landuse variable in addition to cropland, and adding several more decades of bobwhite and landuse data is an essential aspect of formulating defensible, spatially explicit strategies for northern bobwhite conservation and management. © 2002, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Peterson, M. J., X. B. Wu, and P. Rho. 2002. Rangewide trends in landuse and northern bobwhite abundance: an exploratory analysis, in DeMaso, S. J., Kuvlesky, W. P., Hernandez, F., and Berger, M. E., Quail V: Proceedings of the Fifth National Quail Symposium. Corpus Christi, TX. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,Ausitn, TX. p. 35-44,