Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Chemical Elements and the Distribution of Pheasants in Illinois

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1973
Authors:Anderson, WL, Stewart, PL
Journal:The Journal of Wildlife Management
Date Published:1973
ISBN Number:0022541X
Keywords:Phasianidae, Phasianus, Phasianus colchicus
Abstract:Concentrations of 28 to 62 chemical elements in calcitic grit, unsorted grit, and ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) from Sibley (good range) and from Neoga (poor range) were investigated to determine whether inorganic ions might be limiting the distribution and abundance of pheasants in Illinois. The birds used were juvenile hens collected during February 1968 and February 1970 and adult hens collected during August 1969. The elemental makeups of calcitic grit from the two areas were almost identical. In unsorted grit, K and Na were potentially deficient, and Ba, Co, Fe, Mn, Ga, La, and Ni were potentially in excess, on the Neoga area. Concentrations of elements in pheasant tissues (femurs, sternal muscles, blood, and livers) indicated that the birds at Neoga were possibly suffering from deficiencies of Cu and Mo and from excesses of Ba, Sr, Al, Ti, Zr, Na, K, Mg, and Cr. Comparing Neoga with Sibley, Ba was the only element that was relatively high (or low) in both unsorted grit and pheasants. Ba was also the only element that exhibited a clear-cut difference between Neoga and Sibley for all three groups of pheasants examined. If an excess of Ba (or other trace element) is adversely affecting pheasants in poor range, the problem is possibly complicated by low levels of environmental Ca. Such a relationship between a trace element and Ca would explain why pheasants occur primarily-but not exclusively-on recently glaciated (Ca-rich) soils.
Short Title:The Journal of Wildlife Management
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith