Summer Habitat Relationships of Northern Bobwhite in Piedmont Virginia

We examined the relationships of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) to agricultural land uses in the Virginia Piedmont during 1986-1987. Bobwhite were censused and the associated habitat components quantified at 121 roadside census stations. Relative quail densities decreased (P < 0.05) from 1986 to 1987. A multiple regression model (R2 = 0.43) relating relative density of quail at stations to adjacent habitat found positive (P < 0.10) relationships for fallow croplands and other miscellaneous, uncommon cover types, and negative (P < 0.10) relationships for mown lawns and 3 variables describing dense, woody canopies. Management recommendations are to emphasize maximizing the number of different edges present and number of fallow fields in early successional stages. Cultivation of field borders and comers, waterways, and other idle areas should be discouraged.

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