Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: The northern bobwhite decline: scaling our management for the twenty-first century
Year: 2004
Author(s): Williams, C. K., Guthery, F. S., Applegate, R. D., Peterson, M. J.
Source Title: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Source Type: Journal
pages: 861-869
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) are one of the most broadly researched and intensively managed species in North America. However, we argue that a disadvantage of this status is that traditional management principles currently are incompatible with the spatial scale necessary to address the nationwide decline in bobwhite abundance. We maintain that halting or reversing this decline will entail 2 principal changes in the scale of management. Primarily we suggest that habitat oversight must switch from historical fine-scale management (promotion of edge habitat, weedy fencelines, disked strips, living hedges, and food plots) to regional management of usable space. Secondly, within these regional management areas, we should apply harvest management that employs risk-sensitive strategies that conservatively avoid undermining the primary goal. This entails narrowing the scale of harvest management from statewide to regional levels. If these ideological changes cannot be made and historical policies remain in force, we risk failing to stabilize, let alone increase, bobwhite populations.