NBCI News

‘Bobwhites on the Brink’ Examines Decline, Restoration Effort for Iconic Native Bird

 

“Bobwhites on the Brink,” a five-part series by the syndicated television conservation news magazine This American Land airing this fall, examines the reasons for the decline of the iconic northern bobwhite and efforts to restore it on the American landscape.

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and various states worked over a period of months to help develop the story. Crews visited South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky and Kansas to illustrate how a decline in active forest management, the conversion of livestock grazing operations from native grasses to exotic fescue across millions of acres at taxpayer expense, and the hyper-growth of mechanized clean-farming techniques in row crop agriculture over time have combined to decimate habitat range-wide for bobwhites and other grassland birds and wildlife species.  

In the first segment (#601), the show examines forest management trends, which have seen the majority of grassy forest and woodland savannas that historically harbored bobwhites and numerous other species dwindle to a tiny fraction of their original range, often to be replaced with overgrown, stagnant and unhealthy forests ripe for wildfires and insect invasions. Wildlife and forest managers in South Carolina show how thinning and regular prescribed fire are bringing “bob” back to the woods.

The second segment (#602) illustrates how ranchers in Texas are successfully grazing livestock in pastures of native grasses alongside bobwhites, in contrast to producers in many other states who have replaced native grasses with the exotic fescue, which offers little for wildlife and has detrimental impacts on cattle health.

Segment three (#603)  visits the epicenter of fescue, Kentucky, to observe what fescue has done to the landscape there and in other states, and how some producers are reverting to native grasses to benefit not only cattle growth and health but also bobwhites and other grassland species.

Segment four (#604) takes viewers to Kansas to see how agricultural operations in the U.S. have morphed from small field/multi-farm operations to giant corporate expanses of  row crop acreage, and how Kansas is leading the country in demonstrating how bobwhite habitat can still be successfully integrated on these working lands.

The last segment (#605) summarizes the issues and obstacles that have pushed bobwhites and other grassland species from the landscape, and the strategies being used by a multitude of states and the NBCI to ensure their continued role in rural American life.

“We hope this effort will move public understanding up a notch on what has happened to the bobwhite and an array of other grasslands wildlife species, including pollinators, and what we all can do to ensure this iconic bird remains on our nation’s rural landscapes,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie.

Because This American Land is a syndicated program, not all public television stations broadcast it. If they do subscribe to the program they also have the option to air it on dates and at times of their choosing, so viewers are encouraged to check the programming schedule of their local public television affiliate.

The series (#601, #602, #603, #604, #605) can also be viewed on the This American Land website at http://www.thisamericanland.org/Episodes/season-six, on NBCI’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/BringBackBobwhites or on the NBCI website at https://bringbackbobwhites.org/category/the-bobwhite-library/videos/nbci-bobwhite-theater/

Copies of the programming are also being distributed to the quail coordinators of the 25 NBCI states for use in the field with a variety of audiences.

For more information about NBCI, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org.

 

About NBCI

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Slideshare.

 

National Bobwhite Group Honors Dr. Leonard Brennan for Career Contributions

 

LINCOLN, Nebraska — The National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) honored Dr. Leonard A. Brennan of Texas with its Award for Individual Achievement at its annual meeting in Lincoln,

Dr. Leonard Brennan

Dr. Leonard Brennan

NE, recently. The award is presented to recognize an individual’s overall contributions to bobwhite research and/or management during a career.

NBTC cited Dr. Brennan, a professor who holds the C.C. Winn Endowed Chair in the Richard M. Kleberg Jr. Center for Quail Research at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, specifically for his positive national influence on quail management, and his support of NBTC and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) within the wildlife profession during his 33-year career.

In addition, NBTC recognized Dr. Brennan’s research on six species of quail across nine states, his more than 170 scientific publications and more than 105 extension publications, many of which established the course for today’s quail management and research activities. Dr. Brennan was also a central figure in the South Texas region’s designation as the first-ever NBCI Legacy Landscape for Northern Bobwhite Conservation. He was also editor of the award-winning 2006 book, Texas Quails: Ecology and Management, Texas A&M University Press.

Dr. Brennan has also been actively involved in the NBTC (and its predecessor, the Southeastern Quail Study Group) as the elected “academic representative” on the groups’ respective steering committees, and has played an integral role in the national quail symposium series – leading a national strategic workshop for Quail 3, chairing and editing Quail 4, and serving as an associate editor for the upcoming Quail 8 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

‘This American Land’ TV Show Examines Bobwhite Decline

Bobwhite and grassland songbird enthusiasts may want to check their local public television outlet for the program “This American Land,” Season 6. The season’s first five episodes – Bobwhites on the Brink – join the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and biologists in several states to examine the decline of bobwhites and associated species caused primarily by changes in the way we manage forests, grow crops and graze cattle – and what can be done to make room for them on the landscape again. The accompanying trailer, compliments of This American Land, provides a sneak peek.

https://vimeo.com/album/4086985/video/178249017

NBCI Takes Major Step in Supporting State Priorities for National Coordination, Measurement of Bobwhite Restoration

 

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) has taken another major step in supporting the bobwhite restoration priorities of the NBCI member states with the development of its highly anticipated technical website, www.quailcount.org.

“The launch of Quailcount.org is a major step forward in national coordination of quail conservation and consistently measuring results across the range,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “And it’s just the beginning of continued work by NBCI to provide essential technical tools and services to state and partner biologists.”

The site helps meet the demand for technical services related to the NBCI Coordinated Implementation Program (CIP), and other state and partner programs. The new site complements NBCI’s public outreach website, www.bringbackbobwhites.org, but meets state wildlife agencies’ desire for centralized and secure data management.  It includes information on the CIP monitoring protocols (breeding bird survey, fall covey counts and habitat assessments), the NBCI 2.0 Conservation Planning Tool and the NBCI Inventory, as well as the upcoming Quail 8 symposium next year in Tennessee. 

While serving many purposes for the NBCI states, the national database reduces individual state costs for data management, analysis and reporting, while the large pool of data increases the value of scientific analyses.

A few highlights:

  • The geospatial version of NBCI 2.0, known as the Biologist Ranking Information (BRI), provides access to NBCI state agencies’ priority bobwhite areas through an interactive web map (www.quailcount.or/briwebmap.html). BRI is also accessible to biologists in the field through a geo-location feature that extracts BRI information for the user’s location.
  • Monitoring protocols and training associated with implementing the NBCI CIP are well illustrated with V1.0 of a habitat assessment manual and various “how-to” videos that are continuous works in progress.
  • “For biologists only”–As a technical website some services are available only to participating partners, and a top request from state agencies was a centralized and secure database for quail and songbird abundance data. Quailcount.org offers an online data entry system for states participating in the CIP. As of March 2016, the NBCI database had over 10,000 observations.

Quailcount.org is also the primary website for the upcoming Quail 8 national technical conference. NBCI and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are co-hosting the Eighth National Quail Symposium in Knoxville in July 2017. The preliminary program is published with abstracts for 80 presentations.  (Quail hunters will particularly like six abstracts viewable in the program that cover bird dogs and hunting efficiency).

About NBCI

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Slideshare.

Forest Service Formalizes Bobwhite Habitat Support with SC, GA Projects

 

In a first-of-its-kind pact, the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have entered into a formal agreement to establish NBCI bobwhite focal areas in conjunction with national forests in the two states. The Forest Service’s national office set aside $100,000 to support the on-the-ground habitat restoration process on their lands.

Region 8 Map_ReducedNBCI bobwhite focal areas comprise several thousand acres in an area that has been classified as “high” or “medium” priority in the context of the feasibility of habitat restoration achieving the predicted bobwhite population response to management. The intent is to create and manage suitable habitat on a sufficient enough scale that bobwhite coveys can survive over time and, in the process, clearly prove that habitat is the fundamental missing piece in declining bobwhite populations. In addition, the bobwhite habitat created also provides habitat for a number of declining priority songbirds, pollinators and other species.

The focal areas involve the Oconee Ranger District of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia (the Oconee Quail Focal Area) and the Enoree Ranger District in the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina (the Indian Creek Quail Focal Area). Mid-story hardwood removal on 200 acres of pine will be an emphasis with this new money in Georgia, as well as the development of a management plan for the area that may be used as a template for other national forest lands. Fire line construction for future prescribed burns and the seeding of those lines with native weeds and wildflowers will be the immediate focus in South Carolina.

“Active, purposeful management of pine forests to re-create the historic pine savanna ecosystem habitat in the Southeast is a fundamental NBCI strategy in recovering bobwhite populations,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “Not only did these respective national forest personnel sign on to help, but we had the full support of the Forest Service Southern Region and national office as well. We are encouraged by this development, and hope it bodes well for additional agreements involving other national forests in states around the southern region, such as Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.”

“Forging strong relationships with partners is critical to successfully accomplishing restoration projects,” said USFS Regional Forester Tony Tooke.  “We look forward to working collaboratively with NBCI and our state quail coordinators to orchestrate the creation of sustainable quail focal areas.”

“We are excited to be joining forces with USFS to expand the success of our partnership with NBCI in restoration of quail habitat to a focal area anchored on the Oconee National Forest,” said Mark Whitney, assistant director, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. “Working in concert, we can accomplish habitat improvements for quail and other early successional plants and wildlife on a scale no single entity can hope to achieve alone.”

 “The DNR and the U.S. Forest Service have had a strong partnership in South Carolina for a long time”, said SCDNR Director Alvin Taylor.  “We actually started work on the Indian Creek Area around 2004, and have recently designated it as one of our official NBCI Focal Areas.  The quail population has responded very positively to the habitat restoration work, and we are now also monitoring a suite of nongame birds and expect that they will show increases in abundance as well.”

About NBCI

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Slideshare.

 About the U.S. Forest Service

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands managed by the Forest Service contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

 About GA Wildlife Resources Division

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is comprised of six divisions which carry out DNR’s mission to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources. As one of six divisions within DNR, the Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) is charged with conserving, enhancing and promoting Georgia’s wildlife resources, including game and nongame animals, fish and protected plants. WRD is comprised of three sections – Game Management, Fisheries Management, and Non-game Conservation.

 About SCDNR

The mission of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is to fulfill the public trust doctrine by serving as the principal advocate and steward of the state’s natural resources.

25-State Bobwhite Initiative Launches New Website

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) has launched a new, feature-packed website as the central hub for public information regarding the integrated 25-state effort to restore plummeting populations of the native northern bobwhite quail.

While the original website had copious amounts of good information, the new site is more user-friendly, allowing easier access to basic bobwhite information, the conservation challenges found in key land use settings and NBCI’s strategies in confronting those challenges on regional and national levels.

Notable additions include specific pages dedicated to forests and woodlands, grasslands/grazing lands, croplands and prescribed fire, as well as the introduction of new blogs by NBCI staff to highlight issues, opportunities and experiences in their fields of expertise.

In addition to “From the Farmhouse to the White House” by NBCI Director Don McKenzie, “Shell’s Covert” blog by Virginia’s quail coordinator Marc Puckett and “MOQuail” by the Missouri Department of Conservation, NBCI Grasslands Coordinator Jef Hodges has launched the “Native Grass Gazette” blog. Hodges’ blog is designed to promote native vegetation, its wise management and role in our environment and society, as well as pass along news in the native grass/prescribed fire world. Upcoming blog additions will include “Beltway Bobwhites,” by NBCI’s Washington, D.C. agriculture liaison, Tom Franklin, and “Sunlight, Fire and Quail,” by NBCI Forestry Coordinator Steve Chapman. The Bobwhite Library also features a reorganized “Reference Room” for easier and more targeted browsing.

“The new website will continue to evolve as we find new and different ways to support wild bobwhite restoration and the efforts of the 25 NBCI states that are the backbone of the effort,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “I think there will be some pleasant surprises in store.”

Those interested in following the 25-state effort can easily register on the website for emailed updates of NBCI news releases, news items of note from around the nation and latest blog postings.

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Slideshare.

 

NBCI Issues 5th ‘State of the Bobwhite’

The bobwhite as an “umbrella species,” the science behind native grasses as the best choice on working lands, bobwhite2015 SOTB Report-WEBconservation reports from 25 states and the advances made in the coordinated implementation of bobwhite focal areas are but a part of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s (NBCI) newest “State of the Bobwhite” report.

This fifth annual report has grown from a basic survey of bobwhite conservation activities among the 25 NBCI states the first year to include examination of agriculture and forest management policies, the science behind the NBCI strategy of landscape-scale bobwhite restoration, as well as efforts in various parts of the NBCI region that are advancing that strategy.

State of the Bobwhite 2015, for example, examines the federal policy bias toward the use of exotic grasses on tame pasturelands and pulls together the research that shows native grasses are competitive or superior in every critical area – water quality, soil conservation, soil function, air quality, forage, biomass and wildlife.

The 2015 report also revisits NBCI’s successful efforts to convince the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve the dry corners of crop fields irrigated with center pivot systems as eligible for establishment as quail habitat under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program. (Center pivot irrigation is used in 24 of the 25 NBCI states.)

‘State of the Bobwhite 2015’ also visits Pea Ridge National Military Park in Arkansas to see how park personnel are working with NBCI, Arkansas Game & Fish and other partners to make the park the first NBCI Bobwhite Focal Area on National Park Service property – and the first such focal area in the state.

For these and other stories, look for “NBCI’s Bobwhite Almanac, State of the Bobwhite 2015” at www.bringbackbobwhites.org.

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Slideshare.

 

 

8th National Quail Symposium Set for July 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee

The Eighth National Quail Symposium, expected to draw 200 quail experts, researchers, policy-makers and natural resource managers from state, federal and institutional entities from around the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe, is scheduled for July 24-29, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The scientific conference is convened every five years and is the world’s largest meeting of quail professionals. Quail 8, as it is known, will be the first time the symposium will be conducted in conjunction with the annual meeting of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee, the leading group of quail experts in the U.S. and the primary authors of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, headquartered at the University of Tennessee.

Hosted by UT and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Quail 8 will feature the latest quail research findings, including plenary lectures, contributed presentations and peer-reviewed proceedings, and will feature on-the-ground results of bobwhite response to management.

The call for papers will be issued in October with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2015. The Quail 8 editorial board will review abstracts and select those suitable for development and review as a full manuscript.

For more information on previous national quail symposia, please visit http://goo.gl/p3LLut.

September 14, 2015

 

National Bobwhite Group Honors UT Center for Native Grasslands Management

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GALLOWAY, New Jersey — The Center for Native Grasslands Management (CNGM) at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture took home one of two Awards for Group Achievement presented by the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) during the group’s annual meeting here recently.

The center, established in 2006 in Knoxville, Tennessee, provides technical and economic information to producers and land managers for establishing and managing native grasses on “working lands.” Replacement of a portion of exotic, cool season pasture grasses with native warm season grasses is a key objective of both the NBTC and the 25-state National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) in their efforts to restore wild bobwhites to the landscape while providing producers an economic buffer in times of drought.

“Their work has emphasized forage production, biofuels and the integration of both, along with restoration of native grassland plant communities, oak savannas/woodlands and the wildlife conservation aspects of native grasslands management,” said NBTC’s Marc Puckett, awards committee chair. Puckett said the center also focuses on making information widely available through respective state Extension Service offices.

“The sheer volume of exotic, cool season grasses in the East that could be converted to native warm-season grasses, and the likelihood that those grasses can be profitably managed for cattle in large blocks more conductive to grassland birds, provides hope that open spaces with suitable habitat required by grassland wildlife can continue to be a part of the landscape,” said Puckett.

NBTC is the technical advisory group to the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, the habitat-based strategy of 25 state wildlife management agencies to elevate wild bobwhite restoration to regional and national levels. It meets annually to review progress and help identify opportunities and obstacles to bobwhite restoration.

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Funds for NBCI are provided from a variety of sources, including the respective state wildlife agencies, the Wildlife Restoration Program and Park Cities Quail.

August 13, 2015

NBCI Recognizes Individuals, Entities in Six States With 2015 National Fire Bird Conservation Awards

 GALLOWAY, New Jersey — The contributions to wild bobwhite restoration by entities and/or individuals in six National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) member-states claimed NBCI National Fire Bird Conservation Awards during ceremonies at the annual meeting of the nation’s bobwhite experts here recently.

Award recipients are nominated by the respective NBCI-member state’s quail coordinator for their contributions to that state’s efforts toward habitat-based restoration of wild bobwhite populations on a landscape scale.

“NBCI provides this avenue for states to recognize and thank those making meaningful contributions to the science-based restoration agenda, and perhaps help encourage others to join their efforts,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “We need as many individuals, agencies and organizations as possible actively contributing to this unified 25-state strategy.”

The award’s name symbolizes the historic reliance of bobwhites on fire in much of its range to maintain the landscape in an “early successional” stage, that is, in the native grasses, wildflowers and “beneficial weeds” providing bobwhites with suitable habitat. Both wildfires and fires intentionally set by landowners to clear farm fields and woodlots historically resulted in abundant habitat for bobwhites, as well as other wildlife. The term “fire bird” in relation to bobwhites was first coined by naturalist Herbert Stoddard, who researched bobwhites and worked to restore bobwhite habitat in the early 20th Century.

Today, “prescribed” fire under controlled conditions by trained professionals has become an increasingly important tool for helping create and manage habitat for bobwhites, as well as a suite of songbirds, pollinators and other wildlife that require early successional habitats to survive.

2015 award recipients were:

FLORIDA – Upland Ecosystem Restoration Project Steering Committee

Florida Fire Bird Award_FOR WEBFlorida’s Upland Ecosystem Restoration Project (UERP) Steering Committee has provided the leadership in increasing the use of prescribed fire on the landscape and having over 110,000 acres of public lands managed for bobwhites.

UERP is a cooperative partnership between the Florida Forest Service, Florida Park Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Forest Service and Tall Timbers Research Station to improve populations of bobwhites and other declining species on public lands throughout Florida.

Florida leads the nation in the application of prescribed fire, issuing over 100,000 burn authorizations allowing landowners and state and federal agencies to conduct prescribed burning on an average of 2 million acres each year. Most importantly, a large percentage of these acres are burned on a 1 – 3 year frequency in an effort to maximize the early successional habitat these species require, a primary objective of the UERP Steering Committee.

UERP Steering Committee membersinclude: Jim Karels, director, Florida Forest Service; Parks Small, chief, Florida Park Service; Eric Sutton, assistant executive director, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Marianne Gengenbach, program administrator, Florida Division of State Lands; Dr. Bill Palmer, president/CEO, Tall Timbers Research Station; and

Lane Green, North Florida Prescribed Fire Council Steering Committee. 

KENTUCKY – Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (SVPH) is one of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ (KDFWR) strongest allies in bobwhite restoration. Beginning in 2009, SVPH began the transition from the cattle business into a wildlife habitat management role, specifically focusing on bobwhite. Fast-forward six years and with more than 1,000 acres of high quality bobwhite habitat on the ground, SVPH is now known locally, regionally and nationally as one of the largest quail restoration success stories in the country.

KDFWR has used SVPH as a springboard to validate its 10-year quail restoration plan, “Road to Recovery.” The property has been a proving ground to demonstrate that habitat restoration truly is the answer to restoring wild bobwhite.  Kentucky was one of a few states to pilot test the NBCI’s Coordinated Implementation Program (CIP) protocol.  Prior to pilot testing, Shaker Village was the site for the first meetings to create the national CIP and was recently home to the first ever CIP training attracting representatives for 14 states to learn about the new protocol. 

In past years, hunting was not allowed on SVPH property. Today, quail, deer, and other small game hunters are regularly seen on the property, with all proceeds from the hunts going directly to manage and maintain the SVPH habitats.

LOUISIANA — Christian Winslow & Sandy Hollow WMA Burn Team

LA Fire Bird Award_FOR WEB

Cody Cedotal of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries accepts NBCI National Fire Bird Conservation Award on behalf of Christian Winslow & Sandy Hollow WMA Burn Team

Sandy Hollow Wildlife Management Area is the state’s only WMA dedicated to bobwhites.  Winslow and his colleagues with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ burn team assess habitat response and burn needs annually, then conduct prescribed burns using small patch burning at a rate of 2,000 acres annually — with plans to increase burn acres in future years.

Bobwhite numbers observed in annual summer whistle counts have trended upward since the early 2000’s in response to these efforts, and under Christian’s leadership other quail friendly practices are also increasing, including fallow disking, wildlife plantings, and timber harvests. The Sandy Hollow team created and maintains some of the highest quality bobwhite habitat in the state. Sandy Hollow burn team staff includes Tommy Bruhl, Jill Day, Calvin Waskom, Wade Fitzsimmons, Jake Tate, and Jason Childress.

 

MISSOURI — Kyle Hedges and Frank Loncarich

MO Fire Bird Award_FOR WEB

Frank Loncarich, left, accepts NBCI National Fire Bird Conservation Award on behalf of himself and Kyle Hedges from Missouri quail coordinator Scott Sudkamp

As Missouri Department of Conservation public land managers with responsibility for a combined 26,000 acres in southwest Missouri, Hedges and Loncarich have demonstrated convincingly that bobwhites can be a part of a native grassland management program built upon grazing and prescribed fire. While these tools are commonly applied for bobwhite management in range country, they have often been approached with hesitation and skepticism in the Midwest, where public – and often agency – perception is that grazing is inherently bad for natural resources. Their work has clearly shown that these powerful management tools can be applied in Midwestern landscapes with positive results for grassland flora and fauna. The pair also recently proposed and earned approval for a long-term study of the effects of different native-forages grazing management styles on bobwhite breeding ecology. Now midway through the study, this project shows promise to fundamentally change MDC’s approach to quail management on many public lands.

 

TENNESSEE – Clint Borum

Tennessee quail coordinator Roger Applegate, left, presents the NBCI National Fire Bird Conservation Award to Clint Borum.

Tennessee quail coordinator Roger Applegate, left, presents the NBCI National Fire Bird Conservation Award to Clint Borum.

As a biologist for Tennessee’s Landowner Incentive Program (LIP), Borum has integrated bobwhite quail habitat into most of the private lands contracts that he has managed, and he has emerged as one of best “bobwhite arsonists” in the state. Borum averages 12 prescribed burns per year to improve bobwhite habitats, and handles many technical assistance calls from landowners annually. He also has identified how to successfully integrate quail habitat into management plans for landowners whose primary interests are often deer and turkey.

 

VIRGINIA – Robert “Bob” Glennon

Bob Glennon, left, accepts NBCI National Fire Bird Conservation Award from Virginia quail coordinator Marc Puckett

Bob Glennon, left, accepts NBCI National Fire Bird Conservation Award from Virginia quail coordinator Marc Puckett

Retired from the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) after years as a plant materials specialist, ecologist, natural resource planner and manager of the National Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, Robert “Bob” Glennon has contributed his expertise to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Quail Team for more than four years. His emphasis is on outreach and he routinely attends and displays posters oriented toward quail recovery at multiple conservation events annually. He is a routine contributor to the state’s Virginia Bobwhite Bulletin page on Facebook and has spent innumerable hours mentoring the team’s young biologists, helping them develop a superior knowledge of plants and herbicides, and the role they each play in quail management.

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Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Funds for NBCI are provided from a variety of sources, including the respective state wildlife agencies, the Wildlife Restoration Program and Park Cities Quail.

August 13, 2015

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