Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 2006

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

John Heinrichs

Abstract

Native to Asia, ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) were first introduced into Kansas in 1906 and since that time the population size of this species has varied with factors such as agricultural practices, climate conditions, and wildlife management. Ring-necked pheasants are a species with strong inter- and intra-sexual selection with males attempting to breed the first year after hatching. Male mating success is associated with dominance, territory, and spacing which usually improved as the pheasant matures. With the recent increasing availability of satellite imagery, the scientific community is examining the potential of utilizing remote sensing data to measure and monitor variables that affect biophysical characteristics of ecological systems at different landscape scales. The primary objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that ring-necked pheasant population size in northwest Kansas can be predicted with the use of satellite derived vegetation data. The Rural mail Carrier (RMC) survey provided estimates on pheasant population size while the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) form the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor provided the predictor variable. Correlation analyses were performed between the two data sets. May, June, August, and November have shown consistent correlations; these months were subsequently analyzed with the pheasant population RMC values using multiple regression tests comparing the lags of zero to five years. Although the relationship between pheasant population estimates RMC data and monthly NDVI were not statistically significant, the multiple regression analyses indicated higher coefficients of determination (R2) values at two four year lags.

Rights

Copyright 2006 Zane A. Engelbert

Comments

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