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Funded Projects

Bobwhite Response to NBCI-Based Habitat Prescriptions on Rangelands

Northern bobwhite populations have declined significantly on rangelands in central Florida. However, rangelands have a high potential for bobwhite population recovery because bobwhite populations exist at relatively high baseline levels, suitable habitat can be created without changing land use practices, and interest in bobwhite population recovery is high. According to the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), 73% of the population goal for this region could be achieved by managing 7% of rangelands as bobwhite habitat. We propose a multi-disciplinary project to test the efficacy of bobwhite habitat restoration on rangelands in a 4 county focal area in central Florida. On cooperating ranches, habitat manipulations, consistent with NBCI stated objectives, will be implemented using Farm Bill conservation program funds along with private funds. Habitat manipulations will focus on native rangeland portions of ranches, but also include ditch banks, fencerows, and other areas. Funds from this proposal will be used to measure bobwhite and songbird response using a combination of spring point counts and fall covey call surveys. Importance of habitat management and landscape variables will be assessed using a regression approach. Major outcomes of this project will include developing prescriptions for improving habitat and increasing bobwhite and songbird populations on ranches, testing core assumptions of NBCI for this region, and providing decision tools to biologists to assist with prescribing practices to restore bobwhite habitats. This type of information will be critical for decision makers allocating precious resources for habitat restoration projects on rangelands.

William E. Palmer
Tall Timbers Research Station
13093 Henry Beadel Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32312

Phone: (850) 893-4153

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