Habitat use and nesting ecology of ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) on a landscape dominated by agriculture in Lower Austria
Anderson, Brandon Cobb
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The basic ecology of ring-necked pheasants in Eastern Europe has received little to no research attention. The intention of our study was to provide some insight into the basic ecology of hen pheasants at two critical periods in their life cycle, these being the over-wintering and recruitment. These periods are characterized by high mortality throughout much of the current range for ring-necked pheasants. Using radio telemetry, habitat use, survival, nest site selection, nest and brood success were determined. Our research contrasts traditional beliefs that woodlands are primary winter habitat. Our work indicates that wetlands are a preferred habitat type during the months. Recruitment research on Hardegg Estate revealed that uneven dispersal of nesting and brooding habitats where suitable brooding habitat may not be adjacent to nesting habitat. The current distribution pattern of these two habitat types may be increasing mortality due to predation.