Are you hearing that "poor, Bob-WHITE" whistle yet? While quail gear up for the breeding season, we've stayed busy with several programs and preparations for this year's Texas Quail Index.
Assessment of fine-scale vegetation selection by northern bobwhite quail in Texas
Northern bobwhites have experienced significant population declines throughout Texas and Southeastern United States in the last several decades. In response, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service have lead efforts through the Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas Initiative to improve quail habitat and to help reverse the long-term population declines.
As part of the quail initiative, NRI and Louisiana State University researchers are evaluating habitat selection and temporal changes in vegetation types used by northern bobwhite in north-central Texas. Advances in GPS technology now allow sufficiently small enough transmitters to be attached to northern bobwhites, and as a result better understand fine-scale habitat selection for quail. NRI researchers are using GPS-derived movement trajectories, combined with intensive vegetation surveys, to better understand the temporal and spatial habitat requirements of this species.
This information will be used to improve the TPWD’s guidance to land managers desiring to improve quail habitat.
As an associate director for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Dr. Brian Pierce provides leadership on the development of collaborative research programs between Texas A&M AgriLife Research, The Texas A&M…
Potential Causes of the Texas Quail Decline
Dr. Maureen Frank, Andy James, Amanda Gobeli, Jason Hardin, Robert Perez, Dr. James Cathey
Assessment of GPS transmitters for use on Northern Bobwhite Quail
D.D. Marquardt, L. Scroggs, B.L. Pierce, K.L. Skow, D.D. Mote, B.A. Collier
Today, the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch and NRI's Dale Rollins released the inaugural episode with our great friend Gary Joiner with Texas Farm Bureau.
March Newsletter — Kirby and Bonnie got to stretch their wings at two events last month where they got to meet-and-great eager wildlife enthusiasts. If that's a descriptor that applies to you, then you'll also want to check out the article and videos below!
The February Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative is here!
We have a brand new web page for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative on the Dallas AgriLife Center website! Here you'll find an overview of the program, information on our native quail species and links to valuable resources.
Happy hunting! Quail season started on October 27th, but be warned: Texas Quail Index data, as well as other sources, suggest there may be fewer birds this year. Look for a full write-up on the TQI in the next month.
We hope you've been the beneficiary of some rain this past month! In addition to celebrating the cooler, wetter weather, we have several new QuailMasters to congratulate, a new article, and more webisodes on the horizon.
Meet the newest member of the quail decline initiative team!
Reversing the Quail Decline's monthly newsletter is here! This past month, they focused on the future of quail conservation by participating in both the North and South Bobwhite Brigades leadership camps!
See highlights from QuailMasters Part 2 and Quail Appreciation Day: Dallas. Plus a new article about invasive species, a classic resource for quail management, and an upcoming appearance at the TWA Convention.
One of the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute’s most popular “spokespersons” for quail appreciation and conservation isn’t a person at all, but a sociable 6-inch-tall northern bobwhite named Kirby...
Dr. Rollins is being honored for a lifetime of conservation achievements, including the development of the Bobwhite Brigade youth program, which has evolved into a statewide program called Texas Brigades.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, San Antonio Quail Coalition and Witte Museum will present the first-ever Urban Quail Appreciation Day from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Memorial Auditorium of the Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway St., San Antonio.
Private landowners and experts alike gathered March 21 to participate in the 2019 Urban Quail Appreciation Day at Long Acres Ranch.
The end of 2017 had quail enthusiasts across the state of Texas holding their breath. Years 2015 and 2016 had been remarkable for quail with record numbers of birds heard, seen and hunted, and the highest values yet recorded in the Texas Quail Index monitoring program. While 2017 wasn’t a bust by any means, we saw a leveling off of the meteoric rise in quail numbers in many parts of the state. High carryover from the preceding years ensured that there were still plenty of birds around at the start of hunting season, but it felt like our rollercoaster was nearing its apex and preparing to plummet down the other side.
If you are a landowner attempting to manage your property to benefit quail populations, there are steps you can take to determine if raccoons are predominant predators on your land.
While quail may be relatively easy to raise in captivity, research strongly indicates that these pen-raised birds are not well suited to survive long-term in the wild. Read more to find out why.
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.
The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch is a 4,720-acre ranch in Fisher County, Texas that lies about 10 miles west of Roby off of US Highway 180. Speeding past on the highway the encyclopedia of knowledge that’s been garnered from the gently rolling hills is not obvious. Ultimately, the ranch’s aim is providing land managers and other stakeholders, with timely, relevant technology and management schemes for enhancing quail populations in the Rolling Plains of Texas. In doing so, the ranch hopes to sustain the “quail dynasty” that has supported hunters, ranchers, local economies, hunters and the quail themselves.
Hear from the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation leadership, including NRI's own Dr. Dale Rollins, speak on the first ten years in review, learn about habitat and population monitoring findings, mammal surveys and sustainability efforts, opportunities for engagement and much more!
This year’s Texas Quail Index (TQI) featured 26 cooperators representing 7 of the 10 Texas ecoregions. TQI participants are asked to conduct a series of demonstrations which include listening for whistling roosters in the spring, setting out “dummy” (i.e., simulated) nests and game cameras to evaluate predator activity, examining quail habitat, and counting birds along roads. Read more to see the statewide results summarized.
A Texas Land Trends Story Map: Texas is home to four species of quails: Northern Bobwhite, Scaled Quail, Gambel’s Quail, and Montezuma Quail. 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 seek to determine what factors have and continue to contribute to the decline of quail in Texas.
There is no doubt that quail are capable fliers when under pressure and strong, swift runners, but we rarely contemplate just how much distance they cover in a lifetime. When it comes to management of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), it is critical to consider the amount of space they need to maintain sustainable coveys (groups) and healthy populations. When answering the question of how much space a quail needs, you must consider covey sizes, how much terrain quail can cross, and both the amount and quality of habitat that is present in an area that quail occupy.
Many wildlife species have complex behaviors and utilize their habitat in ways we still do not fully understand. While the mysteries of the wild intrigue most any outdoors lover, they do pose challenges when it comes to the management of sensitive or declining species.
The Statewide Quail Symposium, held Aug. 16-18 in Abilene, Texas, was part of an education and research effort to convey activities of the Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas initiative. This gathering brought together experts in the fields of quail management, research and conservation from all over the state.
The Statewide Quail Symposium is set for Aug. 16-18 in Abilene, and registration is now open. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service symposium will be held at the MCM Elegante Hotel, 4250 Ridgemont Drive.