[CT Birds] The Status of the Ring-necked Pheasant

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Wed May 12 07:09:06 EDT 2010

My intent for looking at the status of the Ring-necked Pheasant was  
to determine what areas in the state contained breeding populations  
and what areas contained released birds. After reviewing the comments  
sent in by people and looking at the distribution of state-released  
birds. I was reminded of the complexity of categorizing  nature. In  
nature discrete yes or no descriptions are rare. Everything seem to  
be a continuum, and when we try to categorize nature by breaking the  
continuum into discrete categories, it is all subjective and open to  

In the case of the Ring- necked Pheasant, one end of the continuum is  
a self sustaining breeding population. At the other end of the  
continuum is a collection of non-breeding birds sustained by  
introduced birds. In between the extremes one has self sustaining  
breeding populations supplemented by introduced birds and non-self  
sustaining breeding populations that require the introduced birds for  
persistence. In between these intermediate steps one has marginal  
populations, where in good years they are self sustaining while in  
bad years they are not.

There are surely populations in all categories in the state. Which  
populations are in which categories can only be determined by years  
of observation. And then, the decision is subjective. Then, which  
populations are “Countable” is also a subjective decision.

So, the bottom is; one has to decide for oneself where does “their  
population” stands on the continuum and wether they should count it  
or not.

Dennis Varza

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