Abigail Holmes

Extension Associate

abigail.holmes@ag.tamu.edu

Abigail joined the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute in April 2017 as a student assistant. She currently works as an Extension Associate for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative (RQDI), a conservation program which seeks to address the decades-long decline of quail populations in Texas through research, education, and outreach. Her work for RQDI includes developing social media content, writing blog articles, and assisting with report production.

She received a Bachelors of Science in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2018, with a concentration in wildlife ecology.

In her free time, Abigail enjoys hiking, trying new foods, and buying houseplants.

 

 

Authored Articles


Resources for new landowners: Wildlife

As a new landowner, it is crucial to keep wildlife top-of-mind when developing land management plans. This requires knowing which species are present on a particular tract of land, as well as understanding the relationship each species has with its habitat and the ways in which it sculpts the landscape.

Introducing The Texas Quail Atlas

Texas is home to four species of quail, and many Texans consider these birds to be iconic state species, fondly recalling hunting them, watching them, or just listening to their songs. Despite widespread interest in quail, their overall abundance has declined significantly over the past few decades. Recent research efforts, such as those funded by the Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas Initiative, seek to determine what factors are contributing to the decline of quail in Texas.

Celebrating Texas Quail at the Statewide Quail Symposium

The much anticipated 2019 Statewide Quail Symposium kicked off with the August 14th field day located at the MT7 Ranch in Breckenridge, TX. More than 140 attendees joined a caravan of white pickup trucks to learn from habitat management experts at the MT7, including several members of the ranch’s management team, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI) professionals, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) representatives, and others...

Resources for new landowners: Vegetation

After reviewing the complexities of soil management, gaining knowledge about vegetation is the next crucial step in a new landowner’s management education. Let's dive into the different plant ID resources at your disposal and take an intentional look at the uses of vegetation for wildlife and practical ways to manage your property to encourage the right kind of plant growth.

Resources for New Landowners: Soil Management

Private Land Stewardship is a core component of our mission at the NRI, and our goal is to provide landowners with the resources they need to better care for their land. For new or future landowners, the best time to gather knowledge and information is before making management decisions that will have lasting effects on the land. Thinking of well-managed land conjures up images of lush, green fields and healthy wildlife populations, but it is important to stop and consider where it all begins—with the cultivation of healthy soils.

Reversing the Quail Decline at EarthX 2019

Read about this year’s successful EarthX Dallas conference, held from April 26-28, with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and NRI’s Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative booth. 

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Texas Quail

Researchers have identified a variety of changes that both plants and animals may undergo in response to global warming such as shifts in distribution, earlier breeding times, and reduced breeding performance. Read more on how each species of quail, including bobwhite, could be affected. 

Rio Grande Wild Turkey Management in Texas

As fall hunting season in Texas rapidly approaches, it may be time to evaluate the quality of your Rio Grande Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) habitat and determine the health on your land.

Spotlight on Quail Predators: Coyotes and the Mesopredator Release Hypothesis

Coyotes are widely assumed to be a major threat to quail populations, but are such accusations warranted? It is hard to deny that these canine predators will eat an adult quail or snack on a clutch of eggs if the opportunity presents itself, but they may not be the malevolent quail-eaters that many believe them to be. 

Private Land Stewardship: The Importance of Knowing Your Animals

It is important as a landowner to know which wildlife species frequent your property and how to alter your management practices in order to benefit those animals. Gaining a better understanding of common wildlife as well as species you may never encounter will not only make you a more informed wildlife enthusiast, it can provide you with a well-rounded approach to private land stewardship. Most landowners commonly observe generalist species like white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginanus) or raccoons (Procyon lotor) on their property, but among the ecoregions of Texas there is vast diversity in habitat that many species call home. 

Identifying and Documenting Species with iNaturalist: a great tool for private land stewards

There are many resources you can access to expand your knowledge of the species in your area, but few are more accessible than those on your phone. As citizen science continues to expand with the help of technology, apps are being developed with the sole purpose of helping amateur naturalists and landowners identify and better understand the plants and animals on their property.

Meet the Gambel's Quail

Gambel’s quail are less common in Texas than northern bobwhites and scaled quail, but they're a fascinating species and excellent desert survivalists. Learn more about the habits and habitat of the Gambel's quail in this article.

NRI Members Showcased Efforts at the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Meeting

The Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society (TCTWS) annual meeting is a time to present and discuss current research and recognize notable achievements in conservation leadership. NRI was well represented at this year's meeting by noteworthy scientific research presentations, employees who took on leadership roles within TCTWS, and extension outreach efforts.

Providing Backyard Shelter for Wildlife

If you are attempting to attract wildlife to your backyard, providing shelter is one of the best ways to ensure that animals feel safe enough to make your yard their home. It gives wild animals a place to relax, escape from predators, and endure inclement weather. Learn how to turn your yard into a wildlife haven in this article.

Providing Water for Backyard Wildlife

When choosing a water feature to attract wildlife to your backyard, you can often feel like you are drowning in options – and not all the choices are equally suited to benefit wildlife. There are three main ways to provide free water (i.e., water that is not contained in plants) for wildlife in your yard: birdbaths, ponds, and dripping water features. Read more about them in this article.

The Most Mysterious Quail in Texas

Montezuma quail, fool's quail, harlequin quail—these are a few of the names given to the most elusive quail species in Texas. Its habitat, behaviors and even appearance are all quite different from our other resident quail species, as explained in this article.