Are pheasants attracted or repelled by roads? A test of a crucial assumption for transect censuses
- 110 Downloads
Censuses are widely used to monitor populations. One of the most interesting modern techniques is distance sampling, which depends on some crucial assumptions, including the random distribution of animals with respect to transect lines, which are often asphalt and gravel roads. We tested the assumption of a random distribution of animals with respect to roads for females of ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). Roads can be used to census pheasants using distance sampling, without significant bias because pheasants are randomly distributed with respect to roads. Our method is easy to apply to other field conditions where radio tracking data are available and can be used to test the assumption in other studies and/or with different species.
KeywordsDistance sampling Censuses Pheasant Road Transect
This study is a part of a larger project on the effects of habitat management on pheasant reproduction and density. The project has implicated the active participation of students and staff from both the University of Florence and Faunalia: Carlotta Canova, Serena Calastri, Claudia Gasparini, Claudia Fabbrizzi, Daniele Scarselli, Riccardo Petrini, and Leonardo Lami. They are all gratefully acknowledged. The project has been generously funded by the Toscana Regional Administration (Dr. Paolo Banti) and the Pisa Provincial Administration (Dr. Roberto Mazzoni della Stella); their advice and encouragement have been fundamental for the success of the project and of this study.
- Buckland ST (2001) Introduction to distance sampling: estimating abundance of biological populations. Oxford University Press, USAGoogle Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2008) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria. Available at: http://www.R-project.org
- Venturato E, Cavallini P, Banti P, Dessì-Fulgheri F (2009) Do radio-collars influence mortality and reproduction? A case with ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in Central Italy. European Journal of Wildlife Research. doi:10.1007/s10344-009-0271-6
- White GC, Garrott RA (1990) Analysis of wildlife radio-tracking data. Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar