Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
1 December 2010 A survey of galliform monitoring programs and methods in the United States and Canada
Joseph P. Sands, Michael D. Pope
Author Affiliations +

We mailed survey questionnaires to 62 upland game bird managers in the United States and Canada in 2004. We received questionnaires from 47 of the 62 (76%) upland game bird managers that were contacted and 43 (91%) respondents provided information on how monitoring data were used. Responses indicated monitoring programs (population trends and/or harvest monitoring) for 23 species of Galliformes, with 145 ± 208 personnel days/year devoted to monitoring. Estimating general population trends (e.g. up or down) was the most frequent objective (N = 41; 95%) of survey data. Other applications of data included assessments of hunting activity, evaluations of regional programs and reviews of conservation status related to Endangered Species Act petitions. The majority of respondents (i.e. 63%) with monitoring programs considered the programs within their states to be effective with respect to their objectives. Many states rely upon hunter surveys, harvest data or road counts to access demographic and population data to address major conservation and management issues. The relevance of these issues is growing and agencies must respond with management recommendations, but often must do so with limited data on the status of their populations. Comprehensive monitoring should be a major component of conservation and management planning for upland gamebird populations particularly as a tool to track and evaluate the effectiveness of management actions and inform management options.

Upland game birds are important wildlife resources for most states and provinces in North America (in this paper, upland game bird(s) refers only to species within the order Galliformes). They provide substantial revenue from stamp and license sales, and recreational opportunities that include hunting and wildlife viewing (e.g. Burger et al. 1999, Conner 2007). Long-term declines of species such as the northern bobwhite Colinus virginianus (Brennan 1991, Peterson et al. 2002, Link et al. 2008) and the greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus (Connelly & Braun 1997, Schroeder et al. 2004) highlight the importance of effective population monitoring to assist in the conservation and management of upland game birds.

Many techniques have been described for monitoring upland game bird populations, including walked line transect surveys (Guthery 1988), aerial line transect surveys (Shupe et al. 1987, Rusk et al. 2007), call/territorial male counts (Blackford 1958, Gullion 1966, DeMaso et al. 1992), roadside and brood count surveys (Bennett & Hendrickson 1938, Kozicky et al. 1952), hunter harvest surveys (Leopold 1933, Amman & Ryel 1963) and wing/tail collections (Allison 1963, Dalke et al. 1963). However, consolidated documentation of methods currently used by state wildlife managers to evaluate upland game bird populations are lacking.

Mail-in questionnaires have been used in wildlife research to collect data including information on harvest levels and abundance (Bellrose 1947, Rogers 1963), hunter knowledge, attitudes and values (Duffey & Stiehl 1983, Cartwright & Smith 1990, Vangilder et al. 1990, Haroldson & Kimmel 1992), and the success of management plans and monitoring techniques of specific species (Rogers 1963) or groups of species (Snyder et al. 1999). Given the ecological and economic importance of many upland game birds and potential changes in the legal status of declining populations, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of survey methods and monitoring protocols for many of these species.

Without adequate data on the status of upland game bird populations, wildlife managers cannot effectively detect changes in populations, produce regulations that optimize sustainable harvest or develop management plans for upland game bird populations based on demographic data. Many methods used to evaluate populations and demographics of upland game birds lack the standardisation and rigorous statistical design necessary for effective management (Warner 1991). To our knowledge no study has quantified upland game bird monitoring efforts of state and provincial wildlife agencies on a continental scale. Thus, our objectives were to: 1) collect and compare information regarding upland game bird monitoring techniques used in the United States and Canada, 2) determine how monitoring data are used and 3) summarize the self-reported effectiveness of monitoring techniques.

Material and methods

During January 2004, we mailed a 3-page questionnaire (Appendix I) and a cover letter to 62 representatives from state and provincial wildlife agencies in 50 U.S. states and 12 Canadian provinces which were responsible for managing upland game birds. If a survey was not returned, we attempted to contact the subject by telephone or email to encourage a response. The survey design and questions were reviewed and approved by Oregon State University's Institutional Review Board (IRB #2401) for compliance with federal regulations on research using human subjects.

We asked potential respondents a series of questions regarding population and harvest monitoring of upland game birds. Questions included whether or not a state/province monitored upland game birds, number of personnel days allocated to monitoring, the number of and which upland game bird species were monitored, how frequently upland game bird harvest regulations were reviewed, how effective respondents felt monitoring programs and methods were with respect to program goals, and applications and spatial extent of data collected. In this paper, the term monitoring applies to population (trends/abundance) monitoring as well as harvest monitoring.

We divided the returned surveys into four categories (N = number of surveys mailed): western states (N = 13), central states (N = 15), eastern states (N = 22) and Canadian provinces (N = 12; Table 1). Questions soliciting information on monitoring effectiveness (how well the methods worked relative to objectives) were given a range of 1-5 (1 = very ineffective, 2 = ineffective, 3 = neutral, 4 = effective, 5 = very effective), with 3 as a neutral to control for potential positive or negative bias (Fig. 1). Respondents were given the opportunity to mark questions not applicable (NA), and to only answer specific questions that applied to their state or province.


We mailed 62 surveys and 47 (76%) were returned. The number of non-respondents was distributed similarly among regions for U.S. states (73-93%); however, only 50% of Canadian provinces responded (Table 2). Of 47 respondents, 43 (91.5%) monitored upland game bird population trends (see Table 2) and/or harvest of 24 upland game bird species. Mean personnel days allocated for monitoring populations was 145.0 ± 208 days/year for all respondents (see Table 2). An average of 5.0 ± 2.5 species (range: 1-12) was monitored per state/province, and western states reported the greatest average number of monitored species 7.0 ± 3.1 (Table 3). Species monitored the most frequently were wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo (N = 34; 72%), ruffed grouse Bonasa umbellus (N = 30; 64%), ring-necked pheasant Phasianus colchicus (N = 28; 60%) and northern bobwhite (N = 24; 51%; Table 4).

All western and central states that responded to the survey monitored upland game bird populations. Nearly 90% of the eastern states and 67% of Canadian provinces monitored their upland game birds (see Table 2). Western states monitored the greatest number of species (N = 19) compared to the other regions (range: 5-11; see Table 3). Central states allocated nearly twice the number of days to monitoring than western states, and more than four times the number allocated by eastern states (see Table 2). Of respondents with monitoring programs, 27 (65%) considered their programs ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ with respect to their objectives, and six (14%) considered their programs ‘ineffective’ or ‘very ineffective’ (see Fig. 1). Of the respondents, eight (19%) considered their programs ‘neutral’ and one (2%) did not respond to the question.

Of the respondents, 42 (89%) provided information on the spatial extent (e.g. statewide, specific counties/areas and systematically selected areas) of their monitoring (Fig. 2). Statewide survey was the most frequent spatial scale on which monitoring occurred (N = 35; 83%; see Fig. 2). Of the respondents, 43 (91%) provided information on how their monitoring data were used. Estimating population trends (e.g. up or down) was the most frequent application (N = 41; 95.3%) of survey data (see Fig. 2). Other applications of data included evaluation of regional management programs and conservation status reviews related to Endangered Species Act petitions (see Fig. 2). At the time of the survey (i.e. 2004), hunting regulations were reviewed an average of every 2.3 ± 1.6 years (range: 1-5 years; Table 5).

Of the respondents, 47% (20 states and two provinces) used roadside and rural mail carrier count surveys to monitor 14 species, 57% (24 states and three provinces) surveyed hunters to monitor harvest of 21 species and 34% (15 states and one province) used wing and tail collections to monitor harvest of 13 species. All respondents that used rural mail carrier surveys were from the central region.

Responses to questions on the most accurate monitoring techniques were highly variable. Of the respondents, 33 (70%) considered 13 methods to be the most accurate and effective when costs of implementing monitoring methods were not considered (Table 6). Brood counts (N = 10; 30%), prairie grouse lek counts (N = 8; 24%), hunter surveys (N = 8; 24%), call/whistling counts (N = 7; 21%), roadside counts (N = 6; 18%) and wing/tail collections (N = 3; 9%) were the most frequently reported methods (see Table 6). When costs of implementing a monitoring program were considered, 32 (68%) of the respondents considered nine methods to be the most accurate/effective; brood counts (N = 11; 34%), hunter surveys (N = 11; 34%), prairie grouse lek counts (N = 6; 19%), roadside count surveys (N = 5; 16%), wing/tail collections (N = 3; 9%) and calling/whistling counts (N = 3; 9%; Table 7).


Use of indices

Most monitoring efforts for upland game birds in North America (> 80%) involved the use of statewide indices conducted primarily to assess population trends and forecast numbers for hunting seasons. However, the precision and/or accuracy of these kinds of assessments are difficult to evaluate without knowledge of detection probabilities of individuals over space and time (MacKenzie & Kendall 2002, Anderson 2001, 2003). More precise data necessary for conservation planning likely cannot be obtained from these methods without testing them against estimates of population size (Lint et al. 1995).

Roadside count surveys of individuals are currently used by many of the central states and have been used in avian monitoring since the 1920s (Nice & Nice 1921). Roadside surveys were considered cost effective by many of the states likely because they allow a large area and a wide range of habitats to be sampled in a relatively short time period, and permit managers to monitor multiple species with one sampling effort (Tapper 1988). However, roadside surveys may not produce results that are representative of an entire area because of the potential bias of modified habitat structure and composition surrounding roadsides (Hanowski & Niemi 1995, Betts et al. 2007).

Roadside count surveys of broods have been used to monitor many species of upland game birds in North America including ruffed grouse (Amman & Ryel 1963), sooty grouse Dendragapus fuliginosus (Zwickel 1958, 1990), sage-grouse Centrocercus spp. (Patterson 1952, Dalke et al. 1963), northern bobwhite (Schwartz 1974) and scaled quail Callipepla squamata (Hoffman 1965). Rice (2003) found that results from brood count surveys for pheasants had low precision when used to assess harvest and were not a cost-effective method. Without data collected from a large number of brood routes and multiple replications, information from brood counts may not accurately reflect production (Anderson 1983).

Postal Service employees are often recruited to participate in rural mail carrier roadside surveys throughout the year. This system was initiated by Nebraska in 1945 (Hickey 1955), and has been used for pheasants and wild turkeys (Applegate 1997, Applegate & Williams 1998), ruffed grouse (Amman & Ryel 1963) and northern bobwhite (Applegate & Williams 1998). Rural mail carrier counts are an inexpensive tool for surveying populations, but a bias was noted when the number of carriers participating from year to year was not relatively constant (Robinson et al. 2000).

Call count surveys during the breeding season have been used with varying success for New World quail (Levy et al. 1966, Schwartz 1974, Heffelfinger et al. 1999, Guthery et al. 2001). In some areas, call counts during the breeding season have exhibited a strong correlation with the fall harvest (Bennitt 1951, Smith & Gallizioli 1965, Snyder 1985), and were most affected by time of year, time of day, wind velocity, temperature and relative humidity (Robel et al. 1969). Winter covey call counts of northern bobwhites were a poor index of density in southern Texas rangelands due to a weak relationship between coveys heard calling and covey density, and failure to meet the underlying assumptions (i.e. individuals call at a constant intensity, proportion of coveys calling is consistent over time and space, and observers can accurately identify and separate coveys) of the method (DeMaso et al. 1992). Call counts for pheasants in Washington detected only large changes in populations over the short-term (i.e. 2-3 years; Rice 2003).

Most of the western and central states with lek-forming grouse present monitored these species using lek counts. Lek counts may be useful as population indices, however, use of lek survey data to estimate absolute population size may be inappropriate (Applegate 2000).

Line and strip transects were not frequently used to assess upland game bird populations. These methods are labour intensive and expensive particularly if applied to large areas. Most states likely do not have the resources to conduct repeated comprehensive surveys using these techniques on a large scale.

Hunter contributed materials

Wing and tail collections were utilized by ≤ 42.0% of all respondents whose agencies monitored upland game birds. Wing and tail collections are generally inexpensive to conduct because they rely primarily on volunteer participation by hunters. Volunteer wing barrels established at check stations or specific collection sites may substantially increase sample sizes (Hoffman & Braun 1975).

Data from wings (particularly of grouse and quail) may be used to better understand the distribution and timing of harvest in specific areas, the relative proportions of harvest among species, the sex and age structure of the population and the chronology of breeding activity. However, harvest statistics may not precisely represent sex and age ratios in a hunted population because not all ages and sexes have an equal likelihood of harvest during hunting seasons, and demographic parameters may also differ among ages and sexes (Pollock et al. 1989). For example, northern bobwhite harvests are generally biased towards juveniles and females (Pollock et al. 1989, Shupe et al. 1990, Roseberry & Klimstra 1992). Immature ruffed grouse were harvested more frequently than adults along roadsides in Wisconsin (Dorney 1963) and Alberta (Fischer & Keith 1974). An analysis of data from 10 years (1962-1971) of wings/tails collected from ruffed grouse in Ohio determined that juveniles were less likely to be harvested as a 5-month hunting season progressed (Davis & Stoll 1973), but Flanders-Wanner et al. (2004) found no change over time in the harvest ratio of juvenile and adult plains sharp-tailed grouse Tympanuchus phasianellus jamesi or greater prairie-chickens T. cupido pinnatus during a 3½-month hunting season in Nebraska.

Hunter harvest surveys

Hunter harvest surveys (i.e. telephone and mail questionnaires) have been used by many states to estimate harvest (Sondrini 1950, LaPierre 1997, Tuovila et al. 2002), and many of the respondents in our survey believed that these surveys were an effective method of collecting harvest information on upland game bird populations. Results from harvest surveys may be biased because respondents inflate their success rates (Bellrose 1947, Deming 1950, Atwood 1956, Martinson & Whitesell 1964), or inadvertently give approximate (rounded) answers to questions (Beaman et al. 2005a). In Colorado, significant differences were found between ‘hunter report cards’ and check station data from turkey hunters (Meyers 1965). Meyers (1965) suggested that check stations provided more accurate estimates of population parameters than other hunter solicitation methods, but may not be applicable on a statewide basis because of high labour and maintenance costs. An additional problem with hunter surveys is non-response bias when hunters do not return survey questions because of lack of interest (Martinson & Whitesell 1964). This bias may be reduced by sending survey cards prior to hunting season (Beaman et al. 2005b) conducting surveys soon after the close of hunting seasons (Kurzejeski & Vangilder 1992) and directly contacting non-respondents (Barnes 1946). Most of the information collected from hunters is based on non-random sampling, and may not represent birds harvested from all habitat types. Changes in hunting pressure and intensity for one species may also affect the harvest rate of another (Tapper 1988).

Manager confidence in survey data

Survey responses indicated that the majority of managers considered monitoring within their states to be effective at providing adequate information on upland game bird populations. At least one species of upland game bird can be legally hunted in every U.S. state and Canadian province, yet < 60.0% respondents used monitoring data to set hunting regulations (e.g. bag limits and season lengths). Many states rely upon hunter surveys, harvest data or road counts to access demographic and population data. Of the upland game bird species in the United States and Canada, 20 are native, and at least eight, all shrub-grassland grouse species, northern bobwhite, mountain quail Oreortyx pictus and scaled quail, have exhibited significant declines throughout all or significant portions of their range. While some states have responded by implementing more intensive methods to monitor declining populations, upland game bird managers still face many challenges in selecting and implementing more effective monitoring strategies or improving existing programs because of limitations in funding, time, training and staff.


The success of upland game bird monitoring programs depends on careful determination of monitoring goals, sound sampling design and consideration of factors that affect the choice of monitoring techniques applied to upland game bird management (Martinka & Swenson 1981, Jones 1986, Thompson et al. 1998, Bibby et al. 2000). These factors include the purpose and projected outcomes of monitoring, the habitat and behaviour of the species being monitored, the size and physiography of the sample area, the season in which monitoring will be conducted, time of day and weather conditions (Schultz 1954, Robel et al. 1969, Martinka & Swenson 1981, Shaw 1985). It has long been understood that monitoring methods must be tested and modified with respect to the above factors before being fully employed (Leopold 1933).

In addition to long-standing problems such as broad-scale habitat loss, upland game bird species now face challenges from emerging issues such as climate change and energy developments (transmission lines, wind energy facilities, pipelines and geothermal development) that may have serious impacts on population dynamics and persistence. The relevance of these issues is growing dramatically and agencies must respond with management recommendations, but often must do so with limited data on the status of their populations. To this end, comprehensive monitoring should be a major component of conservation and management planning for upland gamebird populations, particularly as a tool to evaluate effectiveness and inform of management actions.


We thank the upland game bird managers throughout the United States and Canada who participated in our survey and provided thoughtful responses to survey questions. L. Brennan, D. Budeau, B. Dugger, D. Edge, D. Robinson and two anonymous reviewers provided valuable comments on early drafts of this manuscript. L. Newton from Oregon State University's Survey Center provided valuable suggestions about the survey design. We thank Oregon State University's Institutional Review Board for their prompt evaluation of our methodology. This project was supported by Oregon State University's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Game Bird Research program, and the University Honors College.



D. G. Allison 1963. Basic features of the New Hampshire ruffed grouse census. Journal Wildlife Management 27:614–616. Google Scholar


G. A. Amman and L. A. Ryel . 1963. Extensive methods for inventorying ruffed grouse in Michigan. Journal of Wildlife Management 27:617–633. Google Scholar


D. R. Anderson 2001. The need to get the basics right in wildlife field studies. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29:1294–1297. Google Scholar


D. R. Anderson 2003. Response to Engeman: index values rarely constitute reliable information. Wildlife Society Bulletin 31:288–291. Google Scholar


G. L. Anderson 1983. Evaluation of sharp-tailed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, and gray partridge surveys in North Dakota. Master's thesis,. North Dakota State University. Fargo, North Dakota, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


R. D. Applegate 1997. A rural mail carrier survey index for Kansas wild turkeys. - Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 100:80–84. Google Scholar


R. D. Applegate 2000. Use and misuse of prairie chicken lek surveys. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:457–459. Google Scholar


R. D. Applegate and C. K. Williams . 1998. Results from 30 years of Kansas April rural mail carrier surveys. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 101:95–100. Google Scholar


E. L. Atwood 1956. Validity of mail survey data on bagged waterfowl. Journal of Wildlife Management 20:1–16. Google Scholar


W. B. Barnes 1946. The sportsman's questionnaire method of estimating the game kill in Indiana. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference 11:339–348. Google Scholar


J. Beaman, J. J. Vaske, and C. A. Miller . 2005a. Cognitive processes in hunters' recall of participation and harvest estimates. Journal of Wildlife Management 69:967–975. Google Scholar


J. J. Beaman, J. J. Vaske, and C. A. Miller . 2005b. Hunting activity record-cards and the accuracy of survey estimates. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 10:285–292. Google Scholar


F. C. Bellrose 1947. Analysis of methods used to determine game kill. Journal of Wildlife Management 11:105–119. Google Scholar


L. J. Bennett and G. O. Hendrickson . 1938. Censusing the ring-necked pheasant in Iowa. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference 3:719–723. Google Scholar


R. Bennitt 1951. Some aspects of Missouri quail and quail hunting, 1938-1948. Missouri Conservation Commission. Jefferson City Missouri, USA. Technical Bulletin No. 2,. pp.  Google Scholar


M. G. Betts, D. Mithell, A. W. Diamond, and J. Bêty . 2007. Uneven rates of landscape change as a source of bias in roadside wildlife surveys. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:2266–2273. Google Scholar


C. J. Bibby, N. D. Burgess, D. A. Hill, and S. H. Mustoe . 2000. Bird census techniques. 2nd edition. Academic Press. London, Great Britain. pp.  Google Scholar


J. L. Blackford 1958. Territoriality and breeding behavior of a population of blue grouse in Montana. Condor 60:145–158. Google Scholar


L. A. Brennan 1991. How can we reverse the northern bobwhite population decline? Wildlife Society Bulletin 19:544–555. Google Scholar


L. W. Burger, D. A. Miller, and R. I. Southwick . 1999. Economic impacts of northern bobwhite hunting in the southeastern United States. Wildlife Society Bulletin 27:1010–1018. Google Scholar


M. E. Cartwright and R. A. Smith . 1990. Attitudes, opinions, and characteristics of a select group of Arkansas spring turkey hunters. Proceedings of the Sixth Annual National Wild Turkey Symposium 6:177–187. Google Scholar


J. W. Connelly and C. E. Braun . 1997. Long-term changes in sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus populations in western North America. Wildlife Biology 3 (3/4):229–234. Google Scholar


J. R. Conner 2007. Economic aspects of Texas quails. In: L. A. Brennan Texas quails: ecology and management. Texas A&M University Press. United States. pp. 313–326. Google Scholar


P. D. Dalke, D. P. Pyrah, D. C. Stanton, J. E. Crawford, and E. F. Schlatterer . 1963. Ecology, productivity, and management of sage grouse in Idaho. Journal of Wildlife Management 27:811–841. Google Scholar


J. A. Davis and R. J. Stoll Jr. . 1973. Ruffed grouse age and sex ratios in Ohio. Journal of Wildlife Management 37:133–141. Google Scholar


S. J. DeMaso, F. S. Guthery, G. S. Spears, and S. M. Rice . 1992. Morning covey calls as an index of northern bobwhite density. Wildlife Society Bulletin 20:94–101. Google Scholar


W. E. Deming 1950. Some theory of sampling. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. New York, New York, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


R. S. Dorney 1963. Sex and age structure of Wisconsin ruffed grouse populations. Journal of Wildlife Management 27:599–603. Google Scholar


T. Duffey and R. B. Stiehl . 1983. Attitudes toward gray partridge and their management in east-central Wisconsin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Research report 118,. Madison, Wisconsin, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


C. A. Fischer and L. B. Keith . 1974. Population response of central Alberta ruffed grouse to hunting. Journal of Wildlife Management 35:585–600. Google Scholar


B. L. Flanders-Wanner, G. C. White, and L. L. McDaniel . 2004. Validity of prairie grouse harvest-age rations in production indices. Journal of Wildlife Management 68:1088–1094. Google Scholar


G. W. Gullion 1966. The use of drumming behavior in ruffed grouse population studies. Journal of Wildlife Management 30:717–729. Google Scholar


F. S. Guthery 1988. Line transect sampling of bobwhite density on rangeland: evaluation and recommendations. Wildlife Society Bulletin 16:193–203. Google Scholar


F. S. Guthery, M. C. Green, R. E. Masters, S. J. DeMaso, H. M. Wilson, and F. B. Steubing . 2001. Land cover and bobwhite abundance on Oklahoma farms and ranches. Journal of Wildlife Management 65:838–849. Google Scholar


J. M. Hanowski and G. J. Niemi . 1995. A comparison of on- and off-road bird counts: do you need to go off road to count birds accurately? Journal of Field Ornithology 66:469–483. Google Scholar


K. J. Haroldson and R. O. Kimmel . 1992. Hunting and hunters of grey partridge (Perdix perdix) in Minnesota, USA. Gibier Faune Sauvage 9:859–870. Google Scholar


J. R. Heffelfinger, F. S. Guthery, R. J. Olding, C. L. Cochran Jr., and C. M. McMullen . 1999. Influence of precipitation timing and summer temperatures on reproduction of Gambel's quail. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:154–161. Google Scholar


J. J. Hickey 1955. Some American population research on gallinaceous birds. In: A. Wolfson Recent studies in avian biology. University of Illinois Press. Urbana, Illinois, USA. pp. 236–396. Google Scholar


D. M. Hoffman 1965. Techniques for census of scaled quail. Colorado Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Outdoor Facts Game Information Number 25,. Denver, Colorado, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


R. W. Hoffman and C. E. Braun . 1975. A volunteer wing collection station. Colorado Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Outdoor Facts Game Information Number 101,. Denver, Colorado, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


K. B. Jones 1986. The inventory and monitoring process. In: A. Y. Cooperider, R. J. Boyd, and H. R. Stuart . Inventory and monitoring of wildlife habitat. United States Department Interior, Bureau Land Management Service Center. Denver, Colorado, USA. pp. 1–9. Google Scholar


E. L. Kozicky, G. O. Henderson, P. G. Homeyer, and E. B. Speaker . 1952. The adequacy of the fall roadside pheasant census in Iowa. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference 17:293–305. Google Scholar


E. W. Kurzejeski and L. D. Vangilder . 1992. Population management. In: J. D. Dickson The wild turkey: biology and management. Stackpole Books. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. pp. 165–184. Google Scholar


A. K. LaPierre 1997. Upland game harvest surveys. Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Upland Game Investigations. Project Number 4,. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


A. Leopold 1933. Game management. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York, New York, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


S. H. Levy, J. J. Levy, and R. A. Bishop . 1966. Use of tape recorded female quail calls during the breeding season. Journal of Wildlife Management 30:426–428. Google Scholar


W. A. Link, J. R. Sauer, and D. K. Niven . 2008. Combining breeding bird survey and Christmas bird count data to evaluate seasonal components of population change in northern bobwhite. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:44–51. Google Scholar


J. R. Lint, B. D. Leopold, and G. A. Hurst . 1995. Comparison of abundance indexes and population estimates for wild turkey gobblers. Wildlife Society Bulletin 23:164–168. Google Scholar


D. I. MacKenzie and W. L. Kendall . 2002. How should detection probability be incorporated into estimates of relative abundance? Ecology 83:2387–2393. Google Scholar


R. A. Martinka and J. E. Swenson . 1981. A review of census techniques for North American upland game birds. In: F. L. Miller, A. Gunne, and S. R. Hieb . Symposium on census and inventory methods for population and habitats. Forest, Wildlife and Range Experiment Station, University of Idaho. Moscow, Idaho, USA. pp. 158–180. Google Scholar


R. K. Martinson and D. E. Whitesell . 1964. Biases in a mail questionnaire survey of upland game hunters. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resource Conference 29:287–294. Google Scholar


G. T. Meyers 1965. Reliability of turkey sex and age ratio data based on hunter report card returns. Colorado Department of Game, Fish, and Parks. Outdoor Facts Game Information 29,. Denver, Colorado, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


M. M. Nice and L. B. Nice . 1921. The roadside census. Wilson Bulletin 33:113–123. Google Scholar


R. L. Patterson 1952. The sage grouse in Wyoming. Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, Sage Books, Inc.. Denver, Colorado, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


M. J. Peterson, X. B. Wu, and P. Rho . 2002. Rangewide trends in landuse and northern bobwhite abundance: an exploratory analysis. Proceedings of the National Quail Symposium 5:35–44. Google Scholar


K. H. Pollock, C. T. Moore, W. R. Davidson, F. E. Kellogg, and G. L. Doster . 1989. Survival rates of bobwhite quail based on band recovery analyses. Journal of Wildlife Management 52:1–6. Google Scholar


C. G. Rice 2003. Utility of pheasant call counts and brood counts for monitoring population density and predicting harvest. Western North American Naturalist 63:178–188. Google Scholar


R. J. Robel, D. J. Dick, and G. F. Krause . 1969. Regression coefficients used to adjust bobwhite quail whistle count data. Journal of Wildlife Management 33:662–668. Google Scholar


D. A. Robinson Jr., W. E. Jensen, and R. D. Applegate . 2000. Observer effect on a rural mail carrier survey population index. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:330–332. Google Scholar


G. E. Rogers 1963. Blue grouse census and harvest in the United States and Canada. Journal of Wildlife Management 27:579–585. Google Scholar


J. L. Roseberry and W. D. Klimstra . 1992. Further evidence of differential harvest rates among bobwhite sex-age groups. Wildlife Society Bulletin 20:91–94. Google Scholar


J. P. Rusk, F. Hernández, J. A. Arredondo, F. Hernández, F. C. Bryant, D. G. Hewitt, E. J. Redeker, L. A. Brennan, and R. L. Bingham . 2007. An evaluation of survey methods for estimating northern bobwhite abundance in southern Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management 71:1336–1343. Google Scholar


M. A. Schroeder, C. I. Aldridge, A. D. Apa, J. R. Bohne, C. E. Braun, S. Dwight Bunnell, J. W. Connelly, P. A. Deibert, S. C. Gardner, M. A. Hilliard, G. D. Kobriger, S. M. McAdam, C. W. McCarthy, J. J. McCarthy, D. L. Mitchell, E. V. Rickerson, and S. J. Stiver . 2004. Distribution of sage-grouse in North America. Condor 106:363–376. Google Scholar


V. Schultz 1954. Wildlife surveys: a discussion of sampling procedure and design. Tennessee Game and Fish Commission. Nashville, Tennessee, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


C. C. Schwartz 1974. Analysis of survey data collected on bobwhite in Iowa. Journal of Wildlife Management 38:674–678. Google Scholar


J. H. Shaw 1985. Introduction to wildlife management. - McGraw-Hill series in forest resources. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.. New York, New York, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


T. E. Shupe, F. S. Guthery, and S. L. Beasom . 1987. Use of helicopters to survey northern bobwhite populations on rangeland. Wildlife Society Bulletin 15:458–462. Google Scholar


T. E. Shupe, F. S. Guthery, and R. L. Bingham . 1990. Vulnerability of bobwhite sex and age classes to harvest. Wildlife Society Bulletin 18:24–26. Google Scholar


R. H. Smith and S. Gallizioli . 1965. Predicting hunter success by means of a spring call count of Gambels quail. Journal of Wildlife Management 29:808–813. Google Scholar


J. W. Snyder, E. C. Pelren, and J. A. Crawford . 1999. Translocation histories of prairie grouse in the United States. Wildlife Society Bulletin 27:428–432. Google Scholar


W. D. Snyder 1985. Management procedures for ring-necked pheasants in Colorado. Colorado Division of Wildlife. Special Report Number 59,. Denver, Colorado, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


W. J. Sondrini 1950. Estimating game from licensee reports. Connecticut State Board of Fisheries and Game. Hartford, Connecticut, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


S. C. Tapper 1988. Population changes in gamebirds. In: P. J. Hudson and M. R. W. Rands . Ecology and management of gamebirds. BSP Professional Books. Great Britain. pp. 18–47. Google Scholar


W. L. Thompson, G. C. White, and C. Gowan . 1998. Monitoring vertebrate populations. Academic Press, Inc.. San Diego, California, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


V. R. Tuovila, S. B. Chadwick, and C. A. Stewart . 2002. Ruffed grouse and American woodcock status in Michigan, 2002. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Lansing, Michigan, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


L. D. Vangilder, S. L. Sheriff, and G. L. Olson . 1990. Characteristics, attitudes, and preference of Missouri's spring turkey hunters. Proceedings of the Sixth Annual National Wild Turkey Symposium 6:167–176. Google Scholar


R. E. Warner 1991. Long-term perspectives of upland game bird research in North America. In: D. R. McCulough and R. H. Barrett . Wildlife 2001: populations. Elsevier Applied Science. New York, New York, USA. pp. 709–717. Google Scholar


F. C. Zwickel 1958. Fall studies of forest-grouse in north-central Washington. Master's thesis,. State College of Washington. Pullman, Washington, USA. pp.  Google Scholar


F. C. Zwickel 1990. Blue grouse. In: D. E. Davis Handbook of census methods for terrestrial vertebrates. 5th edition. CRC Press, Inc.. Boca Raton, Florida, USA. pp. 63–65. Google Scholar


[1] Edited by Associate Editor: John W. Connelly


Appendix I.

Survey of Galliform monitoring programs and techniques used in the United States and Canada, in January 2004.


Appendix II.

Common and scientific names of Galliformes mentioned in the text and/or tables.


Figure 1.

Reported effectiveness (N = 43) for upland game bird monitoring programs (population trends and/or harvest estimation) data applications in North America, in 2004.


Figure 2.

Upland game bird monitoring sampling area selections and monitoring (population trends and/or harvest estimation) data applications for all respondents that reported monitoring activities (N = 43) in North America, in 2004.


Table 1.

Regional divisions among potential respondents by state/province, 2004.


Table 2.

Survey results for evaluating methods for monitoring upland game bird population trends and/or harvest in North America, during 2004. The number of monitoring days refers to personnel days, not elapsed time.


Table 3.

Number of upland game bird species monitored (population trends and/or harvest) in North America, during 2004.


Table 4.

Frequency of population and/or harvest monitoring of upland game bird species(a,b) reported by state and provincial agency respondents (N = 43) in the United States and Canada, during 2004.


Table 5.

Frequency (average years ± SD) of review of hunting regulations for upland game birds in North America, during 2004.


Table 6.

Frequency (in %) of methods considered most effective by respondents when costs of monitoring were not considered, during 2004.


Table 7.

Frequency (in %) of methods considered most effective by respondents when costs of monitoring were considered, during 2004.

Joseph P. Sands and Michael D. Pope "A survey of galliform monitoring programs and methods in the United States and Canada," Wildlife Biology 16(4), 342-356, (1 December 2010).
Received: 21 July 2009; Accepted: 1 July 2010; Published: 1 December 2010
monitoring effectiveness
population monitoring
upland game birds
Back to Top