Nova J. Silvy

A Portable Drop Net for Capturing Urban Deer

A free-standing, portable drop net was developed and used in the capture of 82 Florida Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium). The net was efficient, easy to set, inexpensive, and non-invasive (e.g., no blasting caps, no destruction of private property). Of 82 trapping attempts, 74 (90%) resulted in the capture of at least 1 deer, 3 (4%) resulted in net malfunction (e.g., net hung), and 5 (6%) resulted in deer escaping. The net can be used to trap deer and other animals in urban areas and can be effective in other areas where wildlife are susceptible to baiting.

A Comparison of Precision for Three Deer Survey Techniques

Morning-drive, evening-drive, and night spotlight surveys for deer (Odicoleus virginianus and 0. hemionus) were conducted each quarter on 3 National Park Service (NPS) areas in Texas and New Mexico from January 1987 to March 1988. Spotlight surveys resulted in a larger number of deer seen on all 3 sites. Spotlight surveys had significantly (P = 0.002) greater precision than morning or evening surveys. Increasing beyond 3 the number of consecutive days surveys were conducted did not significantly improve the precision of morning surveys (P = 0.328) or spotlight surveys (P = 0.719). A power...

Nest-site Characteristics of Relocated Eastern Wild Turkeys in Texas

Past research suggests nesting habitat limits survival and growth of some eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) populations. However, information on nest-site selection is primarily on established populations with limited data on restocked birds. Our objectives were to assess nest-site characteristics of relocated birds and determine causes of nest failure in the Post Oak Savannah of eastern Texas. Radio-tagged wild turkey hens (N = 48) were relocated to 4 areas in winter 1994. We compared understory and ground cover characteristics between 22 nest sites of radio-tagged...

Feather Replacement for Predicting Hatching Phenologies of Mourning Doves

Predicted hatching distributions of mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) derived from post-juvenal primary molt data obtained from (1) trapped samples throughout the year and (2) trapped samples from September-October only, were compared to hatching distributions observed in nesting studies during 1981 and 1982. A good fit of the predicted distribution to the observed was obtained in 1981, but not in 1982. It appears that sampling intensity and uniformity are major factors influencing how well primary feather molt data predicts hatching distributions. As a result, sampling of molt data during...

Movement and Survival of Mourning Doves Banded Pre-season in Texas

Mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) were banded pre-season (May-August) on the Texas A&M University campus as nestlings, free-flying juveniles, or adults. Analysis of direct hunter recoveries revealed no differences (P> 0.05) between the 3 banding classes and recovery distance. Calculation of survival rates from capture-recapture data indicated that adult survival (46.2%) was higher (P < 0.0001) than first year survival of immatures (free-flying juveniles 18.0%, nestlings 19.5%).

Accuracy of Population Estimates of Mourning Doves Using Recapture Data

The accuracy of Lincoln Index estimates for a wild population of mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) of known size was examined. Data indicated there was a tendency to overestimate population size regardless of the percentage of the population that was marked. Learned trap-escape behavior apparently caused the observed overestimations. A similar bias probably exists for other studies on birds.

Roof-Top Trapping Of Urban Mourning Doves

A total of 1,648 mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) was trapped on the gravel-topped roofs of buildings on the Texas A&M University campus during the period from February 1978 through January 1979. An average of 84.5 new doves and 52.8 recaptures per month were trapped in a maximum of 13 modified funnel traps baited with a combination of grain sorghum and cracked corn. The new captures were 74.3% adults of which 59.7% were males. Roof-top trapping minimizes human disturbance and travel while maximizing time available for trapping.

Competition Between Bobwhite And Scaled Quail For Habitat In Texas

Between 20 May and 10 June 1976, habitat surveys and bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Cal/ipep/a squamata) whistle counts were conducted along 133 24-km randomly established transects in Texas. In 3 of 4 ecological areas of Texas where both species occurred, each species selected different habitats during the breeding season. Scaled quail selected the more dense, shorter shrub habitat, whereas bobwhites were located in the more open, taller vegetation types. In the fourth area, the High Plains, habitat use overlapped. The positive correlation of whistle counts of the 2...

The Influence Of Environmental Parameters On Nesting Success Of Upland Game Birds

Between January 1976 and June 1978, environmental factors were analyzed to evaluate the fate of 480 dummy nests and 38 Attwater's prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido allwaten) nests. Fifty-eight percent of both dummy nests and Attwater's prairie chicken nests were destroyed by predators. Analysis of these data indicated that nest success was affected by density of nests, proximity of artificial environmental factors to nesting areas, and time of year. Vegetation type appeared to have no influence on predation rates. Predation on nests of ground-nesting upland game birds does not appear to...