Introduction of the Ring-Necked Pheasant to the Texas Gulf Coast

A total.of 967 wild-trapped pheasants (Phasianus colchicus torquatus) was released over a 7-year period (1964 - 71) in the Sloan-Trull study area of Matagorda County, Texas. On the Maxwell-Boyt study area in Liberty County, Texas, a total of ~,975 pen-reared pheasants (P. c. torquatus X P. c. talischensis) were released during a 5-year period (1968 - 73). The success of these releases was evaluated by measuring dispersal, brood production and survival. On 3 sites during 1977 - 1978, 30 pheasants were tracked by radio telemetry to determine dispersal and mortality during the 1st 30 days after release. Dispersal averaged 439, 450 and 134 m on the 3 sites. Mortality for the 1st 30 days was 40%, 40% and 80%. Annual mortality rates for the Sloan-Trull and Maxwell-Boyt study areas were calculated at 67% and 77% respectively, from a 3-year telemetry study (1976 - 79). Brood sightings reported by landowners, crowing cock counts and hunting results indicate a self-sustaining population. Both study areas have been hunted for 5 years (1976 - 80).

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