Archive for December, 2010
The Fayette Chapter of Pheasants Forever has provided Upper Iowa University a nice Christmas Gift this year by providing funding for Pheasant Research. Pheasants Forever was very excited about the preliminary results Upper Iowa University Conservation Students obtained from GPS tracked ring-necked pheasants. Based on these results, Pheasants Forever decided to provide funding to prepare two GPS collars to be put on wild pheasants.
The goal of this research project is to obtain precise location and movement data of pheasants during the winter season. By analyzing this type of spatial data we can identify the type of winter cover being used by pheasants. Land managers can then identify, protect, and restore important winter cover to increase ring-necked pheasant survival during the harsh Iowa winters.
Below is a map showing the locations of a pheasant we had collared at the the Rush Farm Prairie Preserve in West Union, Iowa. This data is from just one day. We can see the bird spending the nocturnal hours more in the woody cover and during the day moving more to the open areas. We hope to continue getting results from the field.
Today, Upper Iowa University Conservation Management student Derek Steele put a GPS collar on a ring-necked pheasant. This would be the first time that a study has been initiated to closely monitor the spatial movements of a ring-necked pheasant with GPS based technology. The GPS collar is set to obtain a location every 5 minutes so movement patterns of the bird can be retraced in the field for microhabitat analysis. Let us keep our fingers crossed and hope for a lot of accurate locations.