We present an efficient and effective method for trapping chukars (Alectoris chukar) on artificial water sources. We compared a B-trap, a prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) walk-in trap, a modified quail recall trap, and a newly designed Utah walk-in-funnel trap. Our Utah funnel trap outperformed standard techniques by more than 65%, and exceeded previous published results by 35%. Use of this method allows researchers and managers the ability to capture large numbers of Chukars relatively efficiently. With appropriate modifications this design is applicable for capturing a variety of bird species using small water developments. Chukars (Alectoris chukar) have been introduced throughout the world. Limited information regarding seasonal survival, causes of mortality, and other basic life history characteristics such as movements, home range, nesting and brood ecology, are available throughout their historical and introduced range of distribution. Lack of information is surprising because chukars have been introduced throughout the world and are popular with sport hunters. Survival estimates are particularly important for understanding population fluctuations which allows for adequate management. We evaluated the relationship of fall raptor migration, peak migration, reproductive period, and year effects on survival of chukars at 5 sites in western Utah. We also evaluated the probable cause of death for chukars with transmitters attached by examining evidence at kill sites. We captured and fitted 128 chukars with two different sized radio transmitters (99 females, 21 males, 8 sexes undetermined). Survival differed among study years where survival estimates showed significant (P< 0.01) differences between estimates in 2005 (Ψ = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.01 - 0.09), compared to 2006 (Ψ = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.18 - 0.38). Estimates showed that chukars were less likely to survive (P = 0.01) during the fall peak of raptor migration in 2006 (bi-monthly Ψ = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.74 - 0.93) than (base survival) outside this migration period and during the chukar reproductive period (bi-monthly Ψ = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.95 - 0.98). We documented 95 deaths; with 45% of causes unknown, avian predation accounted for 30%, mammals killed 1%, and hunters accounted for 7.6%. Our research suggested that predation on chukars was substantial during the fall raptor migratory period.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences



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chukar, survival, mortality, trapping