Pennsylvania Game News - January 2011 - 8
establishing at least four Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas (WPRAs) with at least 10 hens/mi2 in the spring through habitat improvement and the release and temporary protection of wild trapped and transferred ringnecked pheasants. The Commissioners approved the establishment of three WPRAs in 2009: Pike Run WPRA, Central Susquehanna WPRA and Somerset WPRA. In 2010, the Hegins-Gratz Valley WPRA in Schuylkill and Dauphin counties was approved and regulations were 2009-10 established to prohibit the release of pen-raised pheasants, dog training from early February through July 31, and the hunting and harvesting of pheasants in any WPRA. In the Pike Run WPRA, wild ring-necked pheasants from South Dakota were released in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, for a total of 591 birds released. Crowing counts, landowner brood surveys and flushing surveys are being used to monitor pheasant populations from 2009-2011. No additional wild birds will be stocked on this area. In the Somerset WPRA, wild pheasants trapped in Montana in 2009 and South Dakota in 2010 were released. There were 346 pheasants (69 males, 277 hens) released in 2009, and 318 (36 males, 282 females) in 2010. Radio transmitters were attached to 34 hens and 22 roosters to monitor survival, dispersal and crowing detection rate. This was the second year of releases on this WPRA, with 2011 being the final year of releases. Pheasants monitoring will continue for three years after trap and transfer is completed. In the Central Susquehanna WPRA, wild ringnecks trapped in South Dakota (2007) and Montana (2007, 2008 and 2009) were released, 993 in all, and population monitoring will continue through 2012. Study areas and cover types have been delineated in a Hegins-Gratz Valley WPRA, with a goal of releasing 300 pheasants each year for three years, and monitoring for an additional three years after trap and transfer is completed. The primary measure of success for WPRAs is hen pheasant density; the goal is at least 10 hens/mi2. In 2010, spring hen densities were 15 hens/mi2 in the core area of the Turbotville-PPL study area portion of the Central Susquehanna WPRA, and 9 hens/mi2 in the Turbotville-PPL study area overall. In both the core area and overall study area of the Greenwood Valley portion of the Central Susquehanna WPRA, spring hen densities were 2 hens/mi2. Densities in the Pike Run WPRA were 2 hens/mi2 in the core area and 3 hens/mi2 overall. Densities in the Somerset WPRA were 1 hen/mi2, both overall and in the core area. Additional monitoring efforts being conducted and evaluated at WPRAs include flushing surveys to determine prenesting season sex ratios, crowing count surveys to determine male pheasant densities, radio-tracking to determine survival and movements, and collection of nest sucTHESE YOUNGSTERS took part in an organized youth pheasant hunt. From left cess data. Information is also obtained from to right: Tyler Sherbine, Alex Gross, Connor brood survey data forms, project flyers and Zarefoss, Braden Leazier, Matt Boyer and “Wanted Posters” distributed to landownZach Sherbine. ers in the WPRAs.
8 GAME NEWS