Impacts of weather on northern bobwhite sex ratios, body mass, and annual production in South Texas

Authors

  • Andrew N. Tri,

    Corresponding author
    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Design, West Virginia University, 322 Percival Hall, P.O. Box 6125, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.
    • Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA.===

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  • Joseph P. Sands,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 911 Northeast 11th Avenue #1, Portland, OR 97232, USA.
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  • Michael C. Buelow,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Kentucky Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Resources, Madisonville, KY 42431, USA.
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  • Damon Williford,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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  • Erin M. Wehland,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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  • Jon A. Larson,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 1945 Hwy 199 S., East Dublin, GA 31027, USA.
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  • Kyle A. Brazil,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. P.O. Box 1370, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA.
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  • Jason B. Hardin,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Oakwood, TX 75855 USA.
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  • Fidel Hernández,

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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  • Leonard A. Brennan

    1. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M, University–Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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  • Associate editor: Graham Hall

Abstract

A landscape-scale assessment of how bobwhite productivity varies in relation to weather does not exist for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). We collected age and sex ratio and body mass data from hunter-harvested bobwhites in 16 counties of South Texas (n = 72,797 bobwhites) during 2001–2009 hunting seasons. We evaluated annual bobwhite production (juvenile:adult age ratios) as a function of cumulative April–August rainfall using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather station data from Falfurrias and Hebbronville, Texas. We observed minimal among-year change in percent males harvested (51.0–54.5% male) and mean mass (156–160 g) of bobwhites across South Texas. We found no relationship between percent male or body mass and weather. We documented a positive, linear relationship between cumulative April–August rainfall and bobwhite age ratios (r2 = 0.94); we also documented a negative, linear relationship between summer (Jun–Aug) mean maximum daily temperature and bobwhite age ratios (r2 = 0.38). Our results suggest that rainfall is a landscape-scale indicator of annual bobwhite production in South Texas and can thus be used to manage annual expectations of quail hunters prior to the hunting season. © The Wildlife Society, 2012

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