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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:40am - 10:00am
UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Space, Habitat and Abundance: Hotspot Analysis of Distribution of Ring-necked Pheasants in Eastern South Dakota

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AUTHORS. Sprih Harsh, South Dakota State University; Dr. Andrew J. Gregory, Bowling Green State University

ABSTRACT. In South Dakota, ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) hunting is a multimillion-dollar industry. Consequently, identifying concentrations of this species along with underlying causes for their spatial distribution is a priority for conservation and management. We used South Dakota Game Fish and Park’s brood survey data from 1993-2016 in an emerging Hotspot analysis framework in ArcGIS to identify areas that were consistently high (hotspot) and low (coldspot) pheasant productivity areas across that time period. We found that out of 89 locations which were part of this analysis, 26 locations were part of a hotspot in one or many of those years. We created a minimum convex polygon (MCP) for hot spot locations for each year and combined them together to have a single area with all the 26 points. This combined MCP was overlaid with a hexagon layer with each hexagon an area of about 2.59 km². To find out which part of this area were hot spots for how many years, we tallied the number of years that each cell was a hot spot. We then used Cropland Data Layer to categorize land cover and land use across different hot spots regions. We found the number of years a particular hex region was a Hotspot was positively associated with grassland area within the hex region and negatively associated with hex region area under row crop cultivation. We also quantified class and landscape level metrics within 500-m, 1000-m and 2000-m buffer for hotspot hex region routes using FRAGSTAT. We assessed relationship between brood counts and FRAGSTAT metrics using multinomial regression analysis. The abundance was found to be positively related to landscape configuration, area of grassland and area of row crop at small scale but with increase in scale some of these landscape metrics had a negative influence on pheasant counts.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am CST