Potential Causes of the Texas Quail Decline
Authors: Dr. Maureen Frank, Andy James, Amanda Gobeli, Jason Hardin, Robert Perez, Dr. James Cathey
An important distinction missing from many quail decline discussions is the difference between proximate and ultimate causes. Although harvest, predation by native and non-native species, and disease can all affect the mortality rates of local quail populations, there is not sufficient evidence that these proximate factors influence quail populations at an ecoregion or statewide scale. Despite the lack of supporting evidence, though, many of these purported threats are still blamed as the ultimate causes of the quail decline. There do exist proven best management practices that are effective for managing good quail habitat, because declining habitat quality and quantity is the ultimate cause of the quail decline.