Northern Bobwhites & Fire: A Perfect Match

The August 20, 2020 webinar, Northern Bobwhites and Fire: A Perfect Match, has been posted for public viewing. Featuring Dr. James Martin from the University of Georgia and hosted by the Southern Fire Exchange in cooperation with NBCI and Quail Forever, the offering attracted 370 participants. Developed in partnership with the Southern Fire Exchange, it set a record for program attendance on the Southern Fire Exchange webinar platform and was viewed by representatives from both state and federal agencies, as well as private land managers. Other hosts for the webinar included the Joint Fire Science Program, the University of Florida, and the East Gulf Coast Joint Venture.

In addition to discussing northern bobwhite management and the importance of prescribed fire, Dr. Martin also highlighted the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) pine savanna program, which has the goal to restore pine savanna on 82,000 acres across seven states using forest thinning, prescribed fire, and native grass restoration. Technical and financial assistance is available to landowners who choose to pursue pine savanna management on that designated landscape.

The webinar is accessible via https://bringbackbobwhites.org/category/the-bobwhite-library/webinars/, where NBCI has curated a collection of quail management webinars.

About NBCI
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, 25 state wildlife agencies, the Joe Crafton Family Endowment for Quail Initiatives, the University of Tennessee, Roundstone Native Seed, and Lotek.

An Integrated Approach to Sericea Lespedeza Management

This technical video will assist land managers in controlling sericea lespedeza, one of the most invasive, problematic exotic weeds in the northern bobwhite range.

A native of Asia, sericea lespedeza was introduced for erosion control, mine reclamation and wildlife habitat in the late 1800s. There are beneficial native lespedezas and other exotic lespedeza species. The low-growing, herbaceous lespedezas are popular for forage and wildlife, but the tall, upright shrub-type are problematic, and none as invasive as sericea. With the ability for uncontrolled populations to increase up to 24% annually, sericea lespedeza poses a serious threat to wildlife habitat and native ecosystems.

“For all practical purposes, sericea is impossible to eliminate,” said NBCI Grasslands Coordinator Jef Hodges. “It thrives under common wildland management practices. It’s a perennial and is allelopathic, which means it creates a chemical barrier to other plants. Its hard seeds will last decades in the soil, but they provide little nourishment to wildlife. In 2003, it infested an estimated 8.3 million acres, so it’s a threat to cattle producers as well as wildlife managers. It can’t be totally eliminated but it can be controlled with an integrated approach of burning/grazing/mowing and herbicide application for the most severe infestations.”