Kensington North Watersheds Association
Expansion of Ring-necked Pheasants in Kensington North
Our project was focused on expanding the Ring-necked Pheasant population in the Kensington North area by importing wild birds from Nova Scotia to improve the genetic base. Traditionally we have only released pheasants in the Indian River area. This winter we received reports of birds in the Darnley area so it was decided that the new arrivals would be released in several new locations as well.
Our first goal was primarily administrative in nature – permits were required and trapping services need to be obtained. Provincial Biologist, Garry Gregory, was contacted in December 2018 in order to facilitate the acquisition of permits to trap and export Ring-necked Pheasants from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island. Discussions were held with three trappers in December in order to ascertain their availability. The trapper then in possession of the traps was selected. Permits for the export of up to fifty birds were received on the first of February 2019 and trapping began around February 8th.
The trapper set out baited traps in several locations around Falmouth, N.S. The traps were inspected every evening and any pheasants caught were removed and moved to a holding pen to await transport to PEI. The traps were moved from location to location as needed.
Our second goal was to band, transport and release the trapped birds in the Kensington North area. When a number of birds had been trapped a staff member traveled from PEI to Falmouth to band fourteen pheasants and transport them back to PEI. Seven were released in the Darnley area and seven were released in the Sea View area on February 12th.
The band, transport and release process was repeated three more times in February. Ten pheasants were transported to PEI on February 16th. Seven were released in the Long River area and three were released in the Indian River area. Another four were transported and released in the Margate area on February 20th. Reporters from CBC Charlottetown were at the release site to record the event for the local television and radio programs.
The final release took place on February 25th. Fifteen pheasants were transported to PEI. Four were released in the Long River area, five were released in the Sea View area, five were released in the Darnley area and one was released in the Indian River area.
Our final goal was to provide food for the newly released birds until habituated before the spring breeding season. Feeding stations were established at the release points and several secondary locations. Bags of whole corn and other seed were supplied to area residents to maintain the feeding stations.
A total of forty-three Ring-necked Pheasants were imported to improve the genetic base and spatial distribution of the population. The plan going forward is to monitor their health and survival. There have been discussions with Garry Gregory regarding a crow count this spring. There have also been many sightings of birds without leg bands which to us is an indication of the project’s success.