Bobwhite experts and habitat managers from around the 25-state core range of the northern bobwhite quail will congregate at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL for their 25th annual meeting next week. The National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) is expected to draw more than 100 participants from state wildlife agencies, research institutions and private conservation groups around those 25 states.
Target of their efforts is continued implementation of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, aimed at the landscape-scale restoration of wild bobwhite quail, an iconic game bird that has declined precipitously over the past decades because of changes in the way land is managed for agriculture, ranching and timber products. Habitat has disappeared for not only bobwhites but also a suite of other wildlife as well.
Participants meet yearly in various locations and focus their efforts on federal agriculture policy and current issues related to grasslands, forestry, science and communications. The meeting is being hosted by Quail Forever, along with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Bobwhite quail are identified as a species of greatest conservation need in the state’s Wildlife Action Plan.
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 Forever, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Music City Chapter of Safari Club International, Park Cities Quail and Roundstone Native Seed.