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Focus on Pheasants Area Information

Southwest Focus on Pheasant Initiative started in July of 2010. The kick off of the initiative was during a habitat tour of the Southwest focus area. The Southwest Focus area is part of the larger state wide Focus on pheasants Program that started in 2002.

In response to continued declines in statewide pheasant numbers, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Board of Commissioners directed staff to assess and develop projects and activities to address this problem.  The activities and projects identified were designed to serve the specific goal of delivering tangible benefits to the greatest possible number of pheasant hunters over the next ten years, while maximizing educational opportunities for landowners and other stakeholders regarding the habitat needs of pheasants. 

Although these recommendations are designed to meet the above goal, it is recognized that NGPC actions alone will not be sufficient to reverse regional or statewide pheasant declines.

Although weather events and fluctuations in the distribution and abundance of predators have no doubt influenced this downward trend in pheasant numbers, there is little doubt that changes in land use practices have had more impact on pheasant populations than any other set of factors.  During the period of peak pheasant abundance in the 1940s and 1950s, diverse agricultural operations were the norm, with each operation often consisting of small fields of grain and hay crops interspersed with pasture and idle ground.  This production system generated, by happy accident, nearly perfect conditions for sustaining high pheasant densities, providing good nesting, brood-rearing, escape, and winter feeding habitats within close proximity.

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