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Competition Between Eurasian Collared Doves and Mourning Doves

 

Philip Earhart

 

Undergraduate Student in Wildlife Biology,

 

Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN38501

 

 

Key Words:competition; behavioral dominance; behavioral interactions; food competition; exotic species introduction; native species displacement; Mourning dove, Eurasian Collared dove; Zenaida macroura; Streptopelia decaoto.

 

Table of Contents:

Summary1

††††††††††† Introduction/Background2

††††††††††† Materials and Methods3

††††††††††† Expected Results and Benefits3

††††††††††† Project Timeline4

††††††††††† Literature Cited5

††††††††††† Budget6

 

Summary:

Exotic species have plagued North America as long as humans have been traveling between the continents.Some of these species have been intentionally introduced for food resources or for recreational purposes such as hunting.Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaoto) made their first appearance in North America during the latter part of the 1970ís.Since their first sightings, the collared doveís unique ability to multiply exponentially has spread them across parts of the country.In many of these regions the exotic Collared doves have displaced the native Mourning doves (Zenaida macroura).Collared doves are physically larger than Mourning doves which would seem to give them a distinct advantage over the smaller Mourning doves permitting them to out-compete the native species for food resources.

During this study we will attempt to determine whether or not competition between the Eurasian Collared dove and the Mourning dove exists and if so, to what degree.We will try to determine the potential effects of the introduction of the Collared dove to the southeast and whether or not they could potentially displace the native Mourning dove.

I believe that there will be a level of competition between these two closely related species and that the larger, exotic Eurasian Collared Doves will be able to physically out-compete the smaller, native Mourning Dove for limited food resources.

 

Introduction/Background:

The Mourning dove is one of the most important game birds in the United States today (Hayslette 2001).Each year throughout the 1980ís more than 2.4 million Mourning dove hunters harvested 46 million birds (Romagosa 2000).This popularity contributed millions of dollars to the economy and made these creatures a very important game species in many states, especially the southeast.

††††††††††† The Eurasian Collared dove is becoming increasingly more common in the United States and over the past few years has increased the size of its range and is causing noticeable effects in the natural ecosystem (Stedman 1998).Collared doves have an amazing ability to reproduce and many times will give birth to a new clutch of eggs before the young of the year have even left the nest (Romagosa 2000).The Collared dove is native to India and Sri Lanka and seems to thrive in areas of human inhabitance (Romagosa 2000).Collared doves show a tendency to be much more aggressive than other native species including Mourning doves and song birds and have actually be seen chasing other birds away from feeding stations (Romagosa 2000).

††††††††††† There are many problems associated with the introduction of these invasive, exotic species.At the top of the list is the potential these birds have for completely destroying the native Mourning dove populations as well as the potential of disease introduction (Romagosa 2000).

Materials and Methods:

We will be using birds that were trapped from areas in the Manchester, TN area.These birds have been housed at a holding facility on the Tennessee Technological University Campus since the capture date.The birds are contained in individual pens and given food and water ad libitum.

††††††††††† During the study, selected pairs of Mourning doves and Eurasian Collared doves will be placed in the aviary where they will be allowed to compete for food.The birds will first be fasted for 12 hours, but still allowed access to fresh water.Then a 0.45 m x 0.45 m tray will be placed into the pen containing a mixture of 6 different types of seeds.Observers will be hidden from the birds view and will tabulate data of interactions between the birds.

Expected Results and Benefits:

The expected results of this study are that there will be a significant level of interaction and competition between these two species.I hypothesize that the larger Collared dove will be able to out-compete the smaller Mourning dove when forced to compete for food resources.A benefit of this study will be to determine whether or not the arrival of the Collared dove is a sign that management needs to be assigned to prevent the destruction of a native game animal.This study will also assist state and federal agencies in learning about the bird of which very little is currently known.

Project Timeline:

Competition Between Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared Doves

Project Timeline

 

 

 

DATE

 

ACTIVITY

 

 

 

7/15/2003

 

Begin construction of traps and complete construction of holding pens

7/20/2003

 

Survey areas in mid-state for populations of Collared Doves

7/22/2003

 

Begin trapping of birds

8/25/2003

 

Begin searching in library for sources

8/28/2003

 

Select title for project

9/3/2003

 

Select Article for Peer Review

9/10/2003

 

Come up with Objective Hypothesis

9/17/2003

 

Begin work on website at Tripod.com

9/22/2003

 

Begin research on birds, complete trial #1

9/22/2003

 

Begin to work on research proposal

9/24/2003

 

Develop data form for tabulation of data from trials

9/25/2003

 

Start to work on Powerpoint Presentation

10/1/2003

 

Conducted trial #2 and recorded data

10/7/2003

 

Complete work on powerpoint presentation and research proposal

10/8/2003

 

Present Mid-Term Presentation in Powerpoint, submit Research Proposal

10/10/2003

 

Conduct Trial #3 and record data

10/15/2003

 

Work on and complete Resume and Ethics Statement

10/16/2003

 

Begin to work on correcting research proposal

10/20/2003

 

Conduct Trial #4 and record data

10/21/2003

 

Work on website and hotlink work

10/22/2003

 

Begin to work on Manuscript

10/29/2003

 

Begin to work on Presentation and continue on Manuscript

10/30/2003

 

Finish outline of Presentation

11/2/2003

 

Conduct Trial #5 and record data

11/5/2003

 

Develop Poster

11/7/2003

 

Conduct Trial #6 and record data

11/8/2003

 

Continue work on Manuscript and Presentation

11/12/2003

 

Begin to evaluate and complete research progress report

11/19/2003

 

Attend Graduate Student Seminar and Critique

11/19/2003

 

Finish request for proposal

11/20/2003

 

Make final changes and necessary hotlinks to website

11/26/2003

 

Be ready to Present Final Powerpoint Presentation

11/29/2003

 

Make final changes to Manuscript

12/5/2003

 

Have complete project ready to turn in including paper folder and website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literature Cited:

Hayslette, S.E. and R.E. Mirarchi. 2001. Patterns of Food Preferences in Mourning Doves.Journal of Wildlife Management 65: 816-827.

Romagosa, C.M. and Labisky, R.F. 2000. Establishment and Dispersal of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Florida. Journal of Field Ornithology 71 (1):159-166.

Romagosa, C.M. and McEneaney, T. 1999. Eurasian Collared-Dove in North America and the Caribbean. North American Birds 53 (4): 348-353.

Stedman, S.J. 1998. Changing Seasons: The Nesting Season. North American Birds 52 (4): 424-426.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budget:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct Costs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item

Cost

Quantity

Total

 

 

Wire for traps

$99.95

3

$299.85

 

 

Pliers

$15.95

2

$31.90

 

 

Clips

$9.95

5

$49.75

 

 

Fence Charger

$69.95

1

$69.95

 

 

Electric Wire

$29.95

1

$29.95

 

 

Feed

$150.00

3

$450.00

 

 

Bowls

$2.95

5

$14.75

 

 

Camera

$299.95

1

$299.95

 

 

Trays

$3.95

18

$71.10

 

 

Total

 

 

$1,317.20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indirect Costs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salary

$1,200.00

1

$1,200.00

 

 

Total

 

 

$1,200.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Costs:

 

 

$2,517.20