Population Ecology

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 363–370 | Cite as

Population Responses of the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) to Land Use Changes in the Agricultural Landscapes of Ohio, USA

Original article


Conversion of natural land cover to agriculture is one of the primary threats to biodiversity worldwide. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and woodlot edge enhancement are two tools used in the United States to provide habitat to wildlife that otherwise have little usable space in intensively agricultural landscapes. CRP provides payments to agricultural producers to replant environmentally sensitive cropland, marginal pasture land, or grassland to conservation practices. The northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) is a rapidly declining bird associated with farmland habitat and is often managed for using CRP and woodlot edge enhancement. I studied bobwhites from 2008 to 2010 and 2012–2014 in Brown and Highland Counties, Ohio to document the effects of loss of CRP contracts and addition of woodlot edge enhancement on the rate of change in bobwhite abundance using whistle count surveys. CRP was a strong predictor of bobwhite abundance while woodlot edge enhancement had low predictive power when accounting for loss of CRP. From these results, I tentatively conclude loss of CRP may have significant impacts on this imperiled species, and addition of CRP should be targeted by conservation agencies over woodlot edge enhancement.


Agricultural intensification Conservation Reserve Program Habitat loss Midwest Population sustainability Woodlot edge enhancement 



Funding for this research was provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program (W-134-P, Wildlife Management in Ohio) and administered jointly by the US. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Over 50 private landowners allowed access to their properties and aided in this research. A. K. Janke, M. J. Wiley, M. R. Liberati, C. Brooks, R. Knapik, B. M. Graves, J. M. Jordan, B. T. Adams, C. Cox, J. Valentine, J. Waldvogel, G. E. Fee, and C. J. Grimm assisted in the collection of field data. R. J. Gates, S. Matthews, C. Tonra, B. Slater, E. Toman, G. Karns, and C. Johnson assisted in project development, analyses, or editing. Last but not least, I thank the anonymous reviewer for his/her suggestions that improved the quality of this article


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Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology and Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and Natural ResourcesThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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