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Bobwhite Population Responses to Exploitation: Real and Simulated

John L. Roseberry
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Apr., 1979), pp. 285-305
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3800338
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3800338
Page Count: 21
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Bobwhite Population Responses to Exploitation: Real and Simulated
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Abstract

A population model for bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) was used to evaluate harvest strategies via simulation. Highest sustained yields were obtained from a simulated annual harvest rate of 55%, which reduced standing fall densities by 28%. A harvest regime of 40-45% (including crippling loss) seemed most appropriate as nearly comparable returns were realized with considerably less population reduction. Compensatory adjustments to exploitation were afforded by the nonadditive numerical relationship between hunting and nonhunting losses plus the density-dependent nature of seasonal mortality and reproductive rates. These mechanisms interacted to cushion, but not completely absorb, the impact of hunting on standing densities. Successful population adjustment to exploitation became progressively more difficult as harvesting intensified because the rate of recruitment necessary to maintain equilibrium increased exponentially with increased fall to spring mortality.

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