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3-year Trends in Breeding Season Quail Call-counts on WMAs
Listening stations are established at regular intervals throughout a given area to get a general sample of relative population abundance. A "zero" count does not necessarily mean there are no birds present, but populations are likely very small. Large differences in counts between years may be due to variation in calling activity and/or inability to conduct several counts to capture such variation rather than a severe population "crash." Population density, breeding pair status, weather, and other factors affect calling activity. Furthermore, some routes are only surveyed one time due to time constraints, and within-year variation is not well represented. Evaluating a snapshot of several years of breeding season call-count data provides relative population trends on a given area.