Pennsylvania to receive wild pheasants from Montana


PGC Press Release

It’s been three years since Pennsylvania has placed wild pheasants into any of the state’s four Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, which aim to restore to the state self-sustaining populations ring-necked pheasants.

States like South Dakota, which initially provided wild ringnecks to Pennsylvania as part of the restoration program, have been reluctant to part with their own wild stock because of overall declines in their wild pheasant populations.

It looked as if 2014 would mark another year in which the trend would continue.

But when the Board of Game Commissioners took up new business at the end of its Tuesday meeting, there was some good news to announce.

The Game Commission has received permission from a Native American tribe in Montana to trap 300 wild birds and transfer them to Pennsylvania for release on Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas.

Commissioners said Tuesday, following the board’s meeting, that they had learned the news late the night before, and details about when a trapping attempt would commence and where any transferred pheasants would be released remained to be worked out.

Still, the news is a positive for supporters of the restoration program.

The board thanked the organization Pheasants Forever for partnering in a stepped-up effort to locate wild pheasants that can be transported here.

The Board of Game Commissioners established the state’s first Wild Pheasant Recovery Area (WPRA) in 2007. Today, there are four of them, each selected because of its potential to support wild pheasants.

Only trapped-and-transferred wild pheasants are introduced into a WPRA, given their heightened chances for survival in the wild, compared to propagated birds.

There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Area. The training of dogs also is prohibited within a WPRA, as is the release of any propagated pheasants.

Wild pheasants have been introduced to three of the four WPRAs, but the Franklin County WPRA has not received pheasants.

Permission to trap and transfer pheasants from Montana would seem to give the Franklin County WPRA a great chance at getting its first birds, though commissioners said it’s too early to say where transferred birds might go.

In addition to the Franklin County WPRA, there also is the Central Susquehanna WPRA, the Somerset WPRA and the Hegins-Gratz WPRA.

A presentation made Monday to the commissioners by the Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management indicated hen pheasant densities in all WPRAs that have received wild birds are approaching or exceed target levels.


~ by zaktansky on January 29, 2014.

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