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Nebraska Pheasants Decline Despite Conservation Program


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Despite the implementation of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a Farm Bill funded program to improve soil and restore perennial grass cover, pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) that rely on the grass are still decreasing in population, according to a recent study. While the literature shows that the CRP benefits pheasants, researchers wanted to determine how the birds have actually been faring since the mid-1950s until recently. In their study published in The Wildlife Society Bulletin, the team found that the population has dropped significantly since the mid-1950s, and continued to decline even after the CRP was put in place in 1986. “The population was going down fast prior to 1986 and is still going down but at a much slower rate,” said Drew Tyre, a professor of wildlife population ecology at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a co-author in the study. “What that says is that the CRP did help with the negative effects but they were so extreme that it was insufficient to reverse the trend.” As part of their study, Tyre and his team used the rural mail-carrier survey, one of the longest-running population time-series data sets in Nebraska. For these surveys that [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/tws-member-nebraska-pheasants-decline-despite-conservation-program/

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