|Ring-necked Pheasant Relative Abundance Map|
|Source: North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)|
This map indicates the average count of ring-necked pheasant in the U.S. While the first Ring-necked Pheasants were released in North America during the late 1800s, large numbers were initially introduced during the first decades of the twentieth century. Their continental populations peaked between the 1930s and 1950s, followed by a marked decline during subsequent years. For example, Dahlgren (1988) estimated a 50% decline in the continental population and a 33% decline in the midwest population between 1971-1986. Similar declines have been reported from a number of states (Andrews and Righter 1992, Brauning 1992, Peterjohn 1989, Stewart 1975). Factors responsible for these declines include more intensive agricultural land use practices resulting in reduced habitat availability, the increased use of pesticides, and adverse weather conditions (Dahlgren 1988).
Ring-necked Pheasants are fairly vocal during the breeding season and are well sampled by the BBS. They are most numerous on the Great Plains from Kansas north to the Dakotas and Montana and east to Illinois. They can be locally numerous elsewhere, especially west of the Rocky Mountains.
Sauer, J. R., B. G. Peterjohn, S. Schwartz, and J. E. Hines. 1995. The Grassland Bird Home Page. Version 95.0. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MDCautions for this Product:
Analysis and interpretation of BBS data is tricky, because the survey incorporates information from a huge geographic area and the survey varies greatly in quality of information over the area. To document some of the problems with the analyses of BBS data, and help interpret the results presented, a series of help files is provided with information on the survey, discussion of problems with analysis, and details on how the presented information should be interpreted.
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