Short- and Long-Term Influence of Brush Canopy Cover on Northern Bobwhite Demography in Southern Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • Extensive research has been devoted to quantifying the habitat needs and selection of many wildlife species. However, how habitat selection affects the long-term demographic performance of a species largely has been ignored. We used northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and brush canopy coverage-an important habitat component for quail-to evaluate the influence of habitat on short-and long-term demographic performance of this species. We used data from a 5-yr (2001-2005) radiotelemetry study of northern bobwhite in southern Texas to obtain estimates of bobwhite density, survival, and production on three study areas with 5%, 11%, and 32% brush canopy cover. Our objectives were to compare these demographic variables individually among brush canopy cover classes and then simulate their cumulative effect on demographic performance using a simulation model. All demographic parameters were similar among the three brush canopy cover classes. However, simulation modeling indicated that long-term demographic performance was greater on the 11% and 32% brush canopy cover classes. Simulated bobwhite populations were 2-3 times higher in these two cover classes than the 5% brush canopy cover class. In addition, the probability of population persistence was greater in the 11% (0.91) and 32% (1.00) brush canopy cover classes than the 5% cover class (0.54) using a quasi-extinction criterion of 40 birds ( 0.05 birds ha-1). Our study highlights the shortcoming of considering only short-term effects when comparing habitat given that short-and long-term effects of habitat on demographic performance can differ. 2014 The Society for Range Management.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.35

author list (cited authors)

  • DeMaso, S. J., Hernandez, F., Brennan, L. A., Silvy, N. J., Grant, W. E., Wu, X. B., & Bryant, F. C.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • DeMaso, Stephen J||Hernandez, Fidel||Brennan, Leonard A||Silvy, Nova J||Grant, William E||Wu, X Ben||Bryant, Fred C

publication date

  • January 2014