Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Habitat Selection by Texas Bobwhites and Chestnut-Bellied Scaled Quail in South Texas

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1987
Authors:Wilson, MHammerquis, CRAWFORD, JOHNA
Journal:The Journal of Wildlife Management
Date Published:1987
ISBN Number:0022541X
Keywords:Callipepla, Callipepla squamata, Colinus, Colinus virginianus, Coturnix, Coturnix coturnix, Odontophoridae, Phasianidae
Abstract:Habitat (cover and food) selection by bobwhites (Colinus virginianus texanus) and chestnut-bellied scaled quail (Callipepla squamata castanogastris) was investigated on 4 areas in south Texas from April 1980 to March 1981. The Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Refuge (WR) was the core-allopatric area for bobwhites, Chaparrosa (CR) and Rio Grande Plain Experimental (ER) ranches were peripheral-sympatric areas for both species, and Killam Ranch (KR) was the core-sympatric area for scaled quail. A gradient in available habitat occurred from WR to KR (east to west). Herbaceous material (cover and frequency of seeds) and animal matter were greatest at WR; bare ground and shrubs (cover and frequency of seeds and fruits) were greatest at KR. Bobwhites selected dense, herbaceous cover, whereas scaled quail selected sparse vegetation with shrub overstory. Bobwhites selected grass seeds and animal matter in the diet; scaled quail selected fruits and seeds of woody plants. Based on niche breadth estimates, each species used a narrow range of cover types in their respective core areas and broad ranges in peripheral areas. Because core areas provided the largest amount of optimal cover, the birds could meet their requirements within a narrow range of cover types. In suboptimal areas quail likely required a wider range of cover types to satisfy their needs. Niche breadth values for utilized food groups were relatively constant for each species. Neither cover nor food indices followed patterns expected from competition theory. Thus, interspecific competition was probably not a major selective force in determining habitat selection.
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