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Monday, October 17 • 4:20pm - 4:40pm
Wildlife. A Management Approach to Nocturnal Habitat of American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) on the Wintering Grounds of South-Central Louisiana

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AUTHORS: James C. Haynes, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Jeffrey P. Duguay, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Kim M. Tolson, University of Louisiana at Monroe

ABSTRACT: Woodcock have experienced long-term population declines (1968-2011). Nocturnal habitat availability on the wintering grounds is believed to be critically important to wintering woodcock survival. We examined nocturnal habitat selection of American woodcock (Scolopax minor) on the wintering grounds in Louisiana using four popular land management techniques: bush hogging, burning, disking, and a bush hog/burn combination. From 2011 – 2013, we captured 316 woodcock with an additional 350 woodcock flushed from within the study plots. For the 2011 – 2012 field season, woodcock demonstrated high affinity for the bush hog treatment (52.8% of all data points), with juvenile males showing significant preference for the bush hog treatment (P = 0.0059). Adult female woodcock showed differences in selection by treatment for 2012 – 2013 (P = 0.0356) and flushed woodcock showed significant preference for the burn treatment (P = 0.0020). The disk treatment tended to be used less frequently than the other treatments. Woodcock selection of vegetative parameters within nocturnal habitats was most strongly represented by models containing the height of woody vegetation, with the best model including the height of woody vegetation and percent of standing woody vegetation given the data and candidate models. Our results suggest that both bush hogging and burning can provide suitable nocturnal habitat for woodcock on the wintering grounds.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:20pm - 4:40pm
Riverview B

Attendees (5)