Survival, fidelity, and recovery rates of white-winged doves in Texas


  • Associate Editor: Terry Shaffer


Management of migratory birds at the national level has historically relied on regulatory boundaries for definition of harvest restrictions and estimation of demographic parameters. Most species of migratory game birds are not expanding their ranges, so migratory corridors are approximately fixed. White-winged doves (Zenaida asiatica), however, have undergone significant variation in population structure with marked range expansion occurring in Texas, and range contraction in Arizona, during the last 30 years. Because >85% of white-winged dove harvest in the United States (approx. 1.3 million annually) now occurs in Texas, information on vital rates of expanding white-winged dove populations is necessary for informed management. We used band recovery and mark–recapture data to investigate variation in survival and harvest across 3 geographic strata for white-winged doves banded in the pre-hunting season in Texas during 2007–2010. We banded 60,742 white-winged doves, recovered 2,458 bands via harvest reporting, and recaptured 455 known-age birds between 2007 and 2010. The best supporting model found some evidence for geographic differences in survival rates among strata (A–C) in both hatch-year (juvenile; A = 0.205 [SE = 0.0476], B = 0.213 [SE = 0.0278], C = 0.364 [SE = 0.0254]) and after-hatch year (adult; A = 0.483 [SE = 0.0775], B = 0.465 [SE = 0.0366], C = 0.538 [SE = 0.251]) birds. White-winged doves had a low probability of moving among strata (0.009) or being recaptured (0.002) across all strata. Harvest recovery rates were concordant with estimates for other dove species, but were variable across geographic strata. Based on our results, harvest management strategies for white-winged doves in Texas and elsewhere should consider differences in population vital rates among geographic strata. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.