Habitat And Geography

     The ring-necked pheasant is a ground-dwelling upland game bird that originated from Asia, but is now found throughout most of the world due to human introduction. The ring-necked pheasant has been introduced into various parts of the world due to its tasty meat and its resistance to parasites and diseases that are common in most upland game bird species (Clark et al. 2008).
     Pheasants, like most upland game birds, reside in diverse habitats that consist of anything from woodlots to agricultural fields. Some examples of the ring-necked pheasants habitat are corn, soybean and hay fields, grassy ditches, overgrown fence lines, moderate grassy swamps, and anything else that gives the pheasants cover, while still allowing them to move quickly. Due to pheasant's habitat consisting mostly of agricultural fields, their amount of suitable habitat significantly fluctuates throughout the year. For example, the ring-necked pheasants have their maximum suitable habitat in the summer and fall, when the crops are still in the fields and minimum suitable habitat in the winter and spring, when the crops are harvested off of the fields. This large fluctuation in suitable habitat causes the pheasants home range to significantly increase in summer and fall and decrease in the winter and spring (Riley and Schultz, 2001).
     Like most upland game birds, the ring-necked pheasant has a hard time finding suitable habitat during the winter months, because they rely heavily on agricultural fields for cover during the summer and fall. Some suitable habitats that provide cover to the ring-necked pheasants during the winter are overgrown fence rows, abandoned farmsteads, and cattail marshes (Clark et al. 2008). Due to farming technology, larger farms and equipment, pheasant habitat has become drastically reduced throughout the world, but in the United States in particular. Larger farming equipment has led to fence lines being cleaned up between fields as well as old abandon farms and buildings. While this provides more agricultural habitat for the pheasants during the summer and fall, it drastically reduces their winter habitat, which is crucial to their survival.
     The ring-necked pheasant shares its habitat with a wide variety of organisms because of its habitat next to agricultural fields, which many animals rely on as a food source.  They share their habitat with numerous upland game bird species such as the ruffed grouse, prairie chicken, quail, and partridge, just to name a few. Some other organisms that pheasants share their habitat with are insects, which are a main food source for them. Other organisms that the ring-necked pheasant shares its habitat with, that it wishes it wouldn’t have to, are foxes, skunks, coyotes, hawks, owls, and snakes. All of these organisms are common predators to the pheasant.

Do you know why the ring-necked pheasant is such a popular game-bird? Click here to find out on the Adapations page.

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