A population model as an aid to pheasant management.
A preliminary statistical-dynamic model of pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) abundance was used to predict the effects of nest success, chick survival, density-dependent overwinter loss of females, and release of hand-reared pheasants on the dynamics of theoretical populations. In simulations using the model, pheasant numbers increased with higher nest success and chick survival, and annual releases of hand-reared birds reduced productivity of wild populations. Breeding success had little influence on subsequent breeding populations because of density-dependent overwinter loss in females and density-dependent non-territoriality in males. Maximum sustainable yield was obtained with 20% harvest. Findings are discussed in light of current pressures on wild pheasants in Britain.