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What is a WPRA? What is a WPRA?A Wild Pheasant Recovery Area (WPRA) is an area designated by the PGC for the release of wild pheasants that are trapped in western states and transferred to Pennsylvania. The goal of a WPRA is to establish a sustainable wild pheasant population that can be hunted. WPRAs are established through partner-ships between the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pheasants Forever Chapters or other conserva-tion groups.WPRAs are selected based on potential pheasant habitat available. Areas of potential pheasant habitat are based on a pheasant habitat model developed by the Game Commission requiring less than 20 perent of the acreage in forest, greater than 50 percent in row crops, greater than 20 percent in hay land/pasture, and less than 10 percent developed land. In addition to these general features, a WPRA must also contain a minimum of five percent of the acreage in secure nesting cover (Conservation Reserve En-hancement Program [CREP] fields, hayfields not mowed until after July 15, small grains, etc.).The implementation of habitat improvements may be required to meet habitat targets within a WPRA before it can be ap-proved. Once met, wild-trapped pheasants will be released with the goal of establishing populations of at least 10 hens per square mile in the spring. Wild pheasants are released in WPRAs for three years, depending on availability of birds and trapping success in western states. The population is monitored for three additional years after the last release to determine population status and success.Wild ring-necked pheasants are released on private farms in undisturbed grasses & brushy habitat in February and March. The wild pheasants are monitored by PGC biologists to determine survival and population numbers using radio telemetry, crowing counts, brood surveys and flushing surveys. Volunteers help with brood surveys and flushing surveys.The PA Game Commission passed the following regulations to protect wild pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas.1.It is unlawful to release artificially propagated pheasants any time within any WPRA.2.It is unlawful to train dogs in any manner or hunt small game, except crows, woodchucks and waterfowl, from the first Sunday in February through July 31 within any area designated as a WPRA.3.There is no open season for the taking pheasants in any area designated as a WPRA. (Currently permitted Regulated Shooting Grounds are exempt.)Central Susquehanna WPRA: Located in Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties, the Central Susquehanna WPRA began in 2007 with the Central Susquehanna Chapter of Pheasants Forever.Somerset WPRA: Located in Somerset County, the Somerset WPRA began in 2009 with the Somerset County Chapter of Pheasants Forever.Hegins-Gratz Valley WPRA: Located in Schuylkill and Dauphin counties, the Hegins-Gratz Valley WPRA was established in 2011 with the Schuylkill County Chapter of Pheasants Forever.Franklin WPRA: In Franklin County, the Franklin WPRA was established in 2011 with the Cumberland Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever. The first release of wild pheasant on this site was in 2014.For further information on criteria, procedures and methodology for Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas see the WPRA Manual.WPRA PartnersJoining the Pennsylvania Game Commission in this wide-ranging partnership are:
PPL Montour Preserve
South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Dept.
Fort Peck Indian Reservation, MT
Lower Brule Indian Reservation, SD
WPRA Volunteers and their bird dogs
The Richard King Mellon Foundation
Pennsylvania farmers and landowners
California University of Pennsylvania
By Colleen DeLong Pennsylvania Game Commission Connecting you with wildlife! 5/14/2012
No portlets in this column.
Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg Pennsylvania 17110-9797