Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 7, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Pheasants have high death rate By DENNIS McDONALD Alberta Fish and Wildlife Sixth in a Series Sixty to 90 per cent of Alber- ta's pheasants will be dead by next Does that statement alarm you? Well, it shouldn't, for death rates among wild pheasant populations are high regardless of whether the birds are hunted or not! For this reason, pheasants cannot be stock-piled from one year to the next. Lets examine what happens to 100 pheasants in a spring population that is hunted in the fall and one that is not. Assume that, of the 100 birds in each population, 50 are hens and 50 are cocks. Most of the birds will be in poor physical condition as they have just come through the winter and used up much of their energy to search for food and keep warm. As food remains scarce in the spring before new crops begin to grow, they are unable to replenish their energy reserve before undergoing the ad- ditional rigors of breeding and nesting. Each of ex- acts a toll of birds as those un- able to cope with the ad- ditional stress die. Others are killed by hazards such as early mowing .during nesting. Usually 30 birds will be lost from our populations during this time leaving 70 birds in each population. Fortunately, all nests are not destroyed by early mow- ing or unfavorable weather conditions and about half will hatch successfully to add 280 chicks to our populations. By early summer, each original population will have grown to 350 birds consisting of 35 adult hens, 35 adult cocks and 280 juveniles. Summer losses are high as the stress of shedding old feathers, growing new ones and raising the young chicks uses up more energy and many adults succumb to this stress. Many of the chicks die due to exposure to harsh weather, predators, road traf- fic and other factors. By autumn, our populations will consist of 226 birds comprised of 22 adult hens, 22 adult cocks and 182 juveniles. During the fall, one of our populations is hunted and the other is not. In the unhunted population, natural losses will be moderate as food and shelter are abundant and the birds are widely dispersed making them less susceptible to dis- ease, predation and other fac- tors. Also, all birds have matured by this time and they are better able to fend for themselves. Some losses do occur however and, by early winter, the unhunted popula- tion consists of 200 birds; 100 adult hens and 100 adult cocks. In the hunted population, on the other hand, approximately eight per cent of the cocks are shot during a cocks only season. This loss coupled with natural losses similar to those in the unhunted population reduces the early winter hunted population to 120 birds; 100 adult hens and 20 adult cocks. Old Man Winter then becomes the great equalizer INSTALLATION HUMIDIFIERS 1709 2nd Ave. South Phone 328-5973 as far as pheasant populations are concerned. Just as a range can support a limited number of cattle, so the habitat of pheasants can support a limited number of pheasants. This limit is called the carrying capacity of the habitat. As indicated by the fact that our original spring pop- ulations consisted of 100 birds in this discussion, the overwinter carrying capacity of the habitat must be that many birds. Just as a bucket cannot hold more water once it is full, so winter pheasant habitat can- not support any more birds once it is fully occupied. And it doesn't matter how much water you try to put into the bucket, its carrying capacity is limited. So, in our theoretical ex- ample, the unhunted early winter population of 200 birds suffers a fifty per cent loss (100 birds) due to the inability of the winter habitat to sup- port more than 100 birds. In contrast the early winter hunted population of 120 birds suffers only a twenty per cent loss (20 birds) over winter as the habitat can support' the remaining 100 birds. In both cases, the spring population is again 100 birds but one important difference is evident. In the unhunted population, the ratio of birds still remains one hen to one cock as it did in the beginning. In the hunted population, however, the ratio has been changed by hunting to 5 hens to one cock. This effect would be harm- ful to the second year's phea- sant production if pheasants were not polygamous. However, pheasants are members of the chicken fami- ly and, as anyone raised on a farm will tell you, one rooster for every hen in the coop is a disaster for breeding pur- poses. The aggressiveness of the cocks fighting between themselves and the hens will so disrupt successful laying and hatching that production will be substantially reduced. Well, so it is with pheasants! For maximum production in a pheasant population, the ideal sex ratio for breeding is one cock for every 10 hens. Just as a farmer maintains a large ratio among his chickens, so a game manager strives to produce a large ratio among wild pheasant populations. The most effective way to do so is fay hunting-and, as our example has shown, this will not harm the next years phea- sant jiopulation, it will help it! If we want to effectively increase pheasant populations in Alberta, we must increase the overwinter carrying capacity of the habitat. Until that has been done closed seasons and other pallatives will do little in the long run to improve pheasant populations in Alberta! At this point in our dis- cussion, alert readers may be confused by the information in last week's article which showed that spring pheasant numbers in Alberta fluctuate from year to year in relation to weather during nesting. This article suggests that the over wintering carrying capacity should produce similar sized populations each year. This matter will be cleared up in next week's ar- ticle. Next week: .Pheasant breeding and nesting Alderman denies claim EDMONTON (CP) City alderman Bill McLean denied Friday that he offered his vote on council in exchange for a job for his son with two developers, Eskandar and Raphael Ghermezian. Aid. McLean made the statement at an inquiry into affairs at city hall being con- ducted by Mr. Justice William Morrow. The inquiry was sparked by Aid. Alex Fallow who said he was offered 000 by Raphael Ghermezian after he voted in favor of a rezoning the toothers had sought. The Ghermezians have testified it was Aid. Fallow who demanded the money. Asked if he had authorized his son or anyone else to negotiate a job with the Ghermezians in exchange for his favorable vote. Aid. McLean replied "absolutely not." Saturday, September 7, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 27 CUPE plans campaign for hospital workers CALGARY (CP) Delegates to a Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) conference began a two-day session here Friday .planning a campaign of un- iform demands for working conditions and pay structures for non-medical hospital staff throughout Alberta. The closed-door talks were in preparation for bargaining when CUPE contracts with Alberta hospitals expire March 31, 1975. A membership drive was also on the agenda, a CUPE spokesman said. CUPE now has about a third of the province's hospitals organized but since this includes most major institutions the propor- tion of employees represented by the union is much higher. Results of the conference would not be made public im- mediately but "major an- nouncements" concerning hospital workers will be made within a few weeks. Yellow Pages you know about. White Pages can show you a thing or two, too! Ever really looked through your phone book? It's the original "mine of You'll find Long distance information How to use Direct Distance Dialing An inside cover designed to find emergency numbers instantly And. of course, phone numbers including nearby towns. HOW TO SPOT NUMBERS YOU USE A LOT Underline them. Ring them in red. Or write them on the special Frequently Called Numbers page. This makes it fast and easy to check that number you're "almost sure'' you remember saves time and temper on both ends of the line! YOU DIAL. SCOUTS CANADA GENERAL REGISTRATION NIGHT for BEAVERS, CUBS, SCOUTS, VENTURERS and ROVERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER MEMBERS WELCOME (Regular Weekly Meeting Times will be announced at Registration Meeting) Registration Fee 25 LETHBRIDGE NORTH GROUP PLACE 11th Pack 17th Pack and Troop 15th 18th Pack 20th Pack and Troop 23rd Pack 24th Pack 25th Pack First United Church Galbraith School St. Basil School Gym SL Paul's School LDS Northside Chapel Senator Buchanan School L.D.S. North Side Chapel St. Paul's School TIME p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. LETHBRIDGE EAST GROUP PLACE 3rd General Stewart School General Stewart School LDS Stake Centre LDS Stake Centre LETHBRIDGE WEST 4th Troop St. Augustines 4th Pack (St. Augus- tines) St. Augustines 4th Pack (Lakeview) St. Augustines 6th Pack and Troop 1 st Baptist Church .8th Beavers Pack and Salvation Army Seascouts Citadel 9th Pack St Patricks School 10th Troop LOS Chapel 10th Ave. S. 5th Beavers Pack and Troop Southminster United p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.ir Beavers 7th Pack 12th All Groups 13th All Groups 26th Pack and Troop LDS Chapel 10th Ave. S. BARNWELL 1st All Groups LDS Church COALDALE 2nd All Groups LDS Church TIME p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. COALHURST Coalhurst Elementary School 'SEE NEW GROUPS BELOW FLEETWOOO-a AWOEN SCHOOL SEE NEW GROUPS BELOW courts 1st Civic Centre DELBONITA All Groups LDS Church GRASSY LAKE 1st Community Hall MAGRATH 1st LDS Church 2nd LDS (AH faiths welcome) MILK RIVER AH Groups High School p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. RAYMOND 1st All First and Fourth Groups Ward Church p.m. 4th All First and Fourth Groups Ward Church p.m. 2nd AH Second and Third Groups Ward Chapel p.m. 3rd All Second and Third Ward Chapel Groups (All faiths welcome) p.m. 5th All Groups United Church p.m. SHAUGHNESSY 1st Troop Scout Hall p.m. STIRLING 1st All Stirling Ward Chapel Groups (All faiths welcome) p.m. TABER 1st All Groups LDS Slake Centre p.m. 2nd All Groups Catholic Church Basement p.m. 3rd All Groups LDS Stake Centre p.m. 6th Groups LDS 11th Ward p.m. VAUXHALL 1st Group Scout Hall p.m. WARNER 1 st Groups Civil Defence Hall p.m. 2nd Groups LDS Chapel p.m. WELLING 1st Groups Welling Ward Church (All faiths welcome) p.m. GROUPS FLEETWOOD-BAWDEN SCHOOL p.m. COALHURST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL p.m. CARDSTON DISTRICT 1st Group Stake Chapel Tues. 10 P-m. 2nd Group Social Centre Tues. 10 P-m- 3rd Group Stake Chapel Wed. 11 P-m- 4th Group South Hill Chapel Tues. 10 P-m- 5th Group United Church Hall Tues. 10 P-m- AETNA All Groups South Hill Chapel Wed. 11 P-TJ- GLENWOOD All Groups Ward Chapel Wed. 11 pm. LEAVITT AH Groups Ward Chapel Tues. 10 HILLSPRING All Groups Ward Chapel Wed. 11 p.m. MOUNTAIN VIEW All Groups Ward Chapel Wed. 11 p.m. BLOOD RESERVE To Be Announced UNIFORMS FOR BEAVERS, CUBS, SCOUTS, VENTURERS, ROVERS AND LEADERS BOOKS AND MATERIALS RECORDS, CHARTS, HANDICRAFTS, BADGES, CAMPING EQUIPMENT. EVERYTHING FOR SCOUTING AVAILABLE AT: SCOUT SUPPLY CENTRE 21712thSt AS. Lethbridge, Alberta. 327-4647. BEAVERS CUBS SCOUTS VENTURERS ROVERS Agtt 5-8-7 Ml 11-14 14-17 16-up UNITED WAY SERVICE This ad hat been sponsored by the following community minded businesses: Art Williams Agencies Ltd. Book Store Stock Ltd. Canadian Pittsburgh Ltd. (Retail Paint and Glass Centra) Charlto- A Ltd C.I.P. WcJwnt Paper Ltd. Farmers a Trust Co. Ltd. Bulk Ltd. Lethbridge Concrete Products Leister's Music Ltd. Martin Bros. Funeral Chapels National Salvage Co. Ltd. Toronto Dominion Bank Sunburst Ceramics Limited Southern Ltd.