Effects of habitat manipulations on California quail in western Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qr46r4003

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  • The effects of disking, food plantings, and wheat plantings on a population of California quail (Lophortyx californicus) were studied from fall 1976 to spring 1978 on the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, Oregon. Twelve 16.2-ha study sites were established: 3 study sites for each treatment and 3 control sites. Disked areas, food plantings, and wheat plantings averaged 2.4, 0.4, and 5.0 ha in size, respectively. Circular plots were used to determine percent cover of species and life forms of forbs and grasses, and line transects were used to determine percent cover of shrub species during all seasons. Relative numbers of quail were determined for all seasons with vehicular surveys and flush censuses. Calling quail counts and vehicular brood surveys provided additional indices to abundance during spring and summer. Quail were collected seasonally for food habits analyses. Significantly (P<0.O5) more quail were observed on disked sites than other sites after disking in spring 1977 and significantly (P<0.05) fewer quail were sighted on wheat planting sites in summer 1977. Significantly (P<O.05) more chicks per adult were sighted on disked sites than on food planting or control sites in summer 1977. Although no other significant differences existed a trend was evident in which more quail were observed on disked sites. Fewest quail were observed on wheat plantings. Vegetation analyses and relative food preference indices revealed that quail responded positively to the increased production of preferred food species, consisting primarily of early successional forbs, on disked areas. Seemingly, disking is a viable technique for management of California quail in areas of advanced secondary succession.
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