Influence of Anthropogenic Structures on Northern Bobwhite Space Use in Western Oklahoma



ABSTRACT  Anthropogenic structures associated with energy development and other activities are a growing concern in wildlife conservation because of habitat loss and fragmentation. We conducted a retrospective analysis of effects of barbed-wire fences, oil-extraction structures, aboveground power lines, resurfaced roads, and artificial water sites on space use by northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)in western Oklahoma, USA. Nest location data accrued during 1991–2002 and radiolocation data during 1997–2002. Data suggested fences had a weak repellent effect at distances <300 m, oil structures had neutral effects at distances <800 m, aboveground power lines had neutral effects at distances <250 m, resurfaced roads attracted at distances <350 m, and water sites had neutral effects at distances <250 m. Generally, anthropogenic structures seemed compatible with bobwhite populations on our study area, given density and dispersion of the structures that existed.