- Pheasants are nonmigratory game birds.
- An increase in agriculture and development beginning in the 1950s greatly affected Michigan’s pheasant population by changing their grassland habitat.
- Landowners are now encouraged to plant native grasses on unused land to restore the pheasant’s habitat.
The Need for Management
Since the 1950s, an increase in agriculture and development has caused the pheasant population to decline. Since pheasants are nonmigratory, they need a variety of habitats throughout the year to find adequate food sources.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has partnered with Michigan Pheasants Forever and other conservation organizations to conserve and increase the population of pheasants. Much of those efforts are dedicated to increasing the amount of grasslands in Michigan – the pheasant’s habitat. Thanks to these initiatives, the pheasant population is rebounding. Through the sale of hunting licenses, the Michigan DNR is able to directly aid in the management of pheasants and pheasant habitat now and into the future.
The increasing population of pheasants and the establishment of more grassland habitats in Michigan is largely a result of:
- The DNR’s partnership with Michigan Pheasants Forever and other like-minded organizations and individuals to conserve grassland habitats.
- Quotas placed on the hunting seasons of pheasants based on scientific research informed by trends in population.
- Encouraging landowners to plant native Michigan warm and cool season grasses to help restore grassland habitat.