Now reported at nearly four million acres, bobwhite management across 25 states is up 24 percent over the 3.2 million acres reported the year before — or 771,345 acres added — according to NBCI’s Bobwhite Almanac: State of the Bobwhite 2018. That’s just one insight provided by the eighth annual report by the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), its 25-member states and partners on progress in restoring wild quail to the landscape.
“Because habitat is managed for bobwhites doesn’t necessarily mean quail are there,” cautioned NBCI Science Coordinator/Assistant Director Dr. Tom Dailey in reference to the Bobwhite Habitat Inventory Index. “It means it’s suitable for bobwhites in the year it’s reported or will be in the near future. It can take some time after initial management for a population response. But habitat management is trending in the right direction.”
The positive impact of habitat is illustrated by focal areas enrolled in the NBCI focal area program (the world’s largest network of scientific bobwhite demonstration areas), which has 47 focal and reference areas in 19 states. There were 83.9 percent more bobwhites heard calling on the focal areas than on the reference areas during breeding season. These NBCI-enrolled focal areas range in size from 1,694 acres (Delaware) to 27,238 acres (Texas) and average 7,374 acres.
While NBCI-enrolled focal areas are large and require specific assessment and monitoring activities, other efforts are smaller and less formal. “Arkansas Golf Course Boasts Native Prairie, a Variety of Birdies,” details the efforts of a 27-hole golf course in Fort Smith, Arkansas, to reduce mowing expenses by restoring patches of native tall grass prairie … and now has its own bobwhite population to boot.
State of the Bobwhite 2018 also includes reports on the intricacies of wild bobwhite translocation in “Moving Wild Bobwhites, Not as Easy as it Sounds,” NBCI’s technical training program for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s 10-state grasslands project for bobwhites, and bobwhite conservation reports from all 25 NBCI states.
Read the publication at https://tinyurl.com/y8f25b6s.
Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture/Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is a science and habitat-based 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 to restore wild bobwhites on a landscape scale. 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 Joe Crafton Family Endowment for Quail Initiatives, the University of Tennessee, Quail & Upland Game Alliance, Park Cities Quail and Roundstone Native Seed.