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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Tuesday, November 3 • 10:40am - 11:00am
The Influence of Supplemental Feeding and Predator Trapping on Northern Bobwhite Quail Harvest

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John Henry Harrelson, Mark D. Jones -North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) populations have declined for decades across the southeastern United States. Wildlife managers have developed multiple methods of population management in recent years that are designed to complement effective habitat management. Two of the more popular tools are the use of supplemental feeding and year-round nest predator trapping. Sleepy Creek Farms (SCF) is a 25,746 acre farm in southern Bladen County, NC that has a 6,430 acre quail management area. SCF instituted an aggressive feeding and trapping program in 2013. Since June 2013, all harvested quail locations were marked, all quail crops dissected, and every successful predator trapping event was recorded. Harvest declined 68% between the two seasons while hunting effort remained similar. The presence of supplemental feed in quail crops was not dependent upon the birds’ location in relation to the feed trail indicating that most harvested birds ate the feed. The frequency of supplemental feed in quail crops did not differ throughout the hunting season indicating no seasonal effects. However, native seed presence in crops was linked to availability throughout the season. Quail harvest locations were not dependent upon predator trap locations or the success rate of individual traps. The continued harvest decline was not altered by supplemental feeding and predator trapping. Conditions created by year-round trapping and supplemental feeding could be contributing to the creation of a predator sink, increasing the likelihood of predator-related mortality for quail.

Tuesday November 3, 2015 10:40am - 11:00am EST
Ballroom Salon A

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