State funded initiative takes a at declining quail populations

53
By Missy Hodgin
Texas AgriLife Agent

The Texas A&M University System and Texas A&M AgriLife are on a mission to address the state’s dwindling wild quail populations, and a recent $2 million state-funded initiative reflects the importance of quail to the state of Texas.

The biennial exceptional item slated for fiscal years 2014-2015 is funded by the state legislature and became effective Sept. 1. The initiative will support integrated approaches by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, collaborating with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, to marshal the resources of the A&M System to address quail decline.

John Sharp, Chancellor for Texas A&M University said, “We appreciate the support of the state in funding potential solutions to this critical statewide issue. Based on our AgriLife Extension studies, every time a pickup and dog-trailer pull into a West Texas community, they’re worth about $8,500 to the state’s economy, with about 60 percent of those dollars going to local coffers.”

According to a recent study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, quail are ranked third behind deer and dove as the state’s most popular game species in an industry that exceeds $1.5 billion annually. AgriLife Extension studies show about 65 percent of Texas hunters come from urban areas. So dwindling bird numbers not only threaten rural economies, but also reduce hunting opportunities for many urban residents.

“Reversing quail decline in Texas is built around both education and research focused on landscape improvements to increase quail populations and investigations into diverse factors that interact to cause quail decline,” according to Dr. Doug Steele, AgriLife Extension director.

Quail are an important game species, but they are one among many other grassland birds whose populations share the same downward population trend. Investments in quail research and educational efforts will benefit quail while also providing information on a wider range of game and nongame species.

Dr. Jim Cathey, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist and project leader for the quail decline initiative, has just released a limited call for research proposals to identified quail researchers across Texas. The proposals that are funded are intended to produce results that help better understand the causes of these population declines and how to provide remedies. Areas identified for consideration of funding include impacts of parasites, toxins and even various predators that affect quail hatches through maturity, and field work addressing health factors as influenced by the environment.

Targeted work in genomics that considers infectious diseases and parasites is part of the whole picture, Cathey said. There is also some need to further consider bird translocation for repopulation with monitoring of survival data.

“The quail decline of bobwhites and scaled or ‘blue’ quail over most of West and South Texas has become critical since 2008,” said Dr. Dale Rollins, state coordinator for this AgriLife Extension  initiative. “The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s latest quail surveys reported their lowest counts on record for the third consecutive year.”

Rollins concedes while some areas have observed an uptick in quail numbers this fall, most are still well below long-term averages.

Cathey and Rollins are working closely with the funding agency, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and within AgriLife Extension to lead and coordinate both the education and research activities. This is all in a state where hunters are the champions for wildlife, they noted, explaining that the excise taxes on firearms and ammunition, license sales and particularly the Upland Game Bird Stamp funds represent direct investments in the management, research and education aspects of this effort.

AgriLife Extension educational programs and demonstration work are significant in addressing current and future quail populations, Rollins said. One major demonstration effort will be the Texas Quail Index, which he said empowers landowners and other stakeholders to better understand local quail dynamics and how their land and livestock management affects quail habitat, both good and bad. In 2014, AgriLife Extension will work with landowners via the agency’s network of county Extension agents to expand educational programs such as Quail Appreciation Days and Quail Brigades to cover best management practices for habitat that foster quail survival and growth.

Steele is a firm believer that, “Good stewardship is one of the keys to improving quail numbers and the Texas Quail Index is a great way for AgriLife Extension agents to interact with landowners in gathering data and assessing how well quail are doing in local areas.”  The research, which will be conducted at various universities in the state, is intended to provide support where the research capabilities and focus already exist. Collaboration among all interested parties can do nothing but help in an effort to stop the downward decline of quail populations, officials said.

Share.

About Author

Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

53 Comments

  1. Hello there, just become alert to your weblog thru Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate should you proceed this in future. A lot of other folks will likely be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  2. GoDaddy tech support is really frustrating. First, I used their applications panel to set up joomla, but when I uploaded my regional site through ftp, this didn’t work. I called GoDaddy support and they do not give support for migrating a local site to their host. You just have to build it from scratch using their installation. That stinks. Solutions?.

  3. I always used to believe that, while, the first word meant a person who blogs, the second word was standing for a blog page hosting site! Now, I actually is utterly confused because my dad tells me, that both of them are the same hosting site for those who blog with Google using blogger/blogspot! May somebody with authentic understanding please assist resolve my doubt? Please take my question significantly and “I earnestly request” Y! A members to reply with discreet academic answers, following community guidelines..

  4. GoDaddy technology support is so frustrating. First, I used their applications panel to install joomla, nevertheless I uploaded my regional site via ftp, it didn’t work. I called GoDaddy support and they usually do not give support for migrating a local site to their host. You just have to build this from scratch using their installation. That stinks. Solutions?.

  5. I’m working on company shopping website that uses joomla as its server (if that’s the correct word).. Someone published files with spaces and apostrophes in the wrong folder and Joomla won’t let me delete all of them in the usual way… How do i delete these files (or edit the file names so that they can then be removed as normal)?.. I submitted this question on the Joomla message board yet so far no luck..

  6. Basically, I want this to be on the main page where all my posts go however I also want to be able to put it on another page of my blog dedicated to just that subject matter. Hopefully this makes sense!.

  7. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  8. People post links to websites that have (for example) live streaming football and they nearly always have. blogspot. in the link. When I follow these there is simply match details and advertising campaigns, no football (even after i know the video game is being played). Do I need to install something or sign up to something?.

  9. I know I want to build my own computer for college. However the only brand that I know of that does build computers to your specification is definitely Dell. However , I’m pretty sure that there is one more top of the line brand that enables you to build your very own computer. If you can possess get some even more options of brands that I can select that will be great..

  10. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thanks However I am experiencing problem with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss drawback? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  11. I’m aiming to spike my journalistic career and thought that a blog page might be recommended. But I actually also realize that there are ways to established up a paypal account attached to the blog for payment to read this or contribute. I guess I was inspired by movie Julia and Julie and I wish to do it on my own. Any suggestions on how to get going?.

  12. I wish to start a fashion/lifestyle blog. I love photography, but I want to up grade my camera to an even more professional one. I also wanted to start this blog, therefore which camera would you suggest me. Excellent small spending budget, so if you could find something that is certainly not as well pricey, I might appreciate it. Thanks a lot!.

  13. hello everyone. I actually is intending to start a website with my partner nationwide. But now, later, we get know that a website with all the same idea is already can be found in UK and they have patent themselves. so will this can cause us a problem. second thing is usually how we may set the word and circumstances and online privacy policy. I would end up being very grateful for your response. appreciate it.

  14. I actually is beginning a business throughout the summer exactly where I work with kids separately or throughout a camp. I had been wondering could could begin a website intended for my customers parents to check out during the summertime..

  15. I just downloaded Mozilla firefox, how do i make this so my opening web page is bebo? I know its possible i just can’t remember just how. I mean so that when you open firefox its not really google the bebo, if yous obtain what i mean?.

Leave A Reply