A Texas Land Trends Story Map
This Story Map is an adaption of the publication:
Funding for this project was provided through the Reversing the Quail Decline in Texas Initiative and the Upland Game Bird Stamp Fund based on a collaborative effort between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Texas is home to four species of quails: Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii), and Montezuma Quail (Cyrtonix montezumae). Many Texans fondly recall experiences with quail, whether they were hunting or watching them, or just listening to their songs. Despite the interest in these quail species, their overall abundance, especially northern bobwhites, have declined over the past few decades. Recent research efforts, such as Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas Initiative, seek to determine what factors have and continue to contribute to the decline of quail in Texas. Potential causes evaluated by this research include drought, land use change, land fragmentation, habitat loss, invasive species, insecticides, disease and parasites.
While the combination of these factors is likely to blame for quail population declines, habitat loss is one of the top concerns. Human development leads to habitat fragmentation, and isolated habitat fragments result in small, isolated quail populations. These small, isolated populations are unable to withstand long-term unfavorable site and weather conditions, and have a greater risk of becoming locally extinct. Their ability to repopulate through a source population becomes less likely as distance grows from stable quail populations – a source-sink population dynamic...