Friday, June 28, 2013

Hiring - Technician – Bobwhite Quail: Indiana - Apply by 7/02

Technician – Bobwhite Quail: Indiana

Agency
Indiana DNR - Division of Fish and Wildlife

Location
Daviess County, IN

Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions

website
http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2344.htm

Salary
$9.89/hr

Start Date
08/12/2013

Last Date to Apply
07/02/2013

Description
The Indiana DNR - Division of Fish and Wildlife is seeking a research technician for a study on productivity and dispersal of northern bobwhite, from August 12, 2013 – March 28, 2013. Duties will include, but are not limited to: trapping, banding, and radio-marking bobwhite quail, conducting intensive radio-telemetry, vegetation surveys, covey call counts, data entry, GPS/GIS mapping, and assisting with other management programs where needed. The technician will work out of Glendale Fish and Wildlife Area in SW Indiana, but will also work at the DFW field office in Bloomington, IN, periodically. A state-owned vehicle and housing will be provided. 

To apply, please submit a formal coverletter, resume, and contact information of two references to: bveverka@dnr.in.gov, by 11:00pm EDT, Tuesday, July 2.

Qualifications
B.S. in wildlife management or related field. Previous field experience and radio-telemetry experience are preferred. Knowledge of herbaceous plants of Indiana, particularly grasses, aerial photography, and a basic understanding of ArcGIS are beneficial. Familiarity with the habitats and habits of quail and Navigation with GPS or map and compass are a plus. Individuals must have a valid driver's license and clean driving record. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. regularly. Must be able to work independently, without close supervision, but also work well as part of a team. Must be conscientious and have a strong work ethic. Must be willing to work outside in all field/weather conditions. Must be able to communicate well with supervisors, area staff, and local landowners.

Contact Person
Budd Veverka
Contact Phone
812-334-1137 x 3305
Contact eMail

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Covey of quails can be sheltered in 20-160 acres

The northern bobwhite is the native quail species found throughout Arkansas. These predominantly ground-dwelling birds are primarily found in areas that contain large amounts of edge habitat. Edges are boundaries between different habitat types or land use practices.

The home range of a quail covey can cover as little as 20 acres up to 160 acres. In that home range, quail require various types of habitat, including: escape cover, nesting habitat, brood rearing habitat and feeding and loafing areas.

So, what is a “covey headquarters” and how does it fit into the equation for great quail habitat? Covey headquarters are patches of escape cover with dense, shrubby canopy cover and little ground-level vegetation. Headquarters are used by quail on a daily basis to provide protection against severe weather and predators along with resting and loafing areas.

The percentage of the landscape designated as covey headquarters can range up to 20 percent of the total area, with the remainder set aside for the other habitat components needed by quail. Covey headquarters should be provided in clusters of not less than 30 feet by 50 feet blocks of shrubs that are not more than 150 feet apart, which will allow the quail to have quick access to their escape cover if the need arises.

Shrubs that serve well for this habitat component include: wild American and Chickasaw plum, fragrant and smooth sumac, rough-leaved dogwood, deciduous holly, cockspur hawthorn and American beautyberry. Plum thickets are an excellent example of quail convey headquarters and occur naturally on many properties across Arkansas.

Existing Thickets -- Protect and manage any existing plum or other shrubby thickets on your property. These shrubby thickets can be improved to better benefit quail. If invasive grass species take over the ground-level cover, those grasses should be treated with a herbicide, timing depending on whether they are warm season or cool season. This will re-open that ground-level cover making it easier for quail to move throughout the headquarters. Also, any over-hanging or adjacent trees to the plum thicket should be removed from the area. This strategy will help reduce predation from overhead predators and also provide a clear flight path for quail to escape from ground predators.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Quail Forever Adds Three Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists in Illinois

Illinois Quail Forever (PF) and Pheasants Forever (QF) recently hired three farm bill wildlife biologists (FBWB) in Illinois, bringing the total number of wildlife biologists in the state to five. The biologist positions are a result of a partnership between Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources with the intention of increasing wildlife and conservation awareness in “The Land of Lincoln.”

“Illinois is second only to Iowa in expiring CRP contracts over the next year,” says Aaron Kuehl, Pheasants Forever Illinois director of conservation partnerships. “The expanded farm bill wildlife biologist partnership will help provide the necessary wildlife expertise and conservation technical assistance to private landowners to protect and expand upland habitat.”

Quail Forever's farm bill wildlife biologist program is designed to educate farmers and landowners about the benefits of conservation programs, as well as assist those landowners after programs have been implemented. Farm bill wildlife biologists add wildlife technical assistance in USDA offices to assist the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA) and other conservation partners with delivering conservation programs to landowners.

Doug Gass – (Bloomington Area) - McLean, Dewitt, Livingston, Woodford and Tazewell Counties – Gass’ experience in wildlife conservation and management includes nearly ten years in agricultural and environmental fields with an emphasis on fire management, habitat restoration and outreach. Having participated in over sixty prescribed fires, conducting outreach activities in a variety of settings (most recently as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda) and carrying out a wide range of management activities in the Midwest and on the East Coast, Gass is a welcomed addition to the Illinois FBWB team and the state’s restoration efforts. Gass can be contacted at DGass@quailforever.org or via phone at (309) 660-3971.

“The farm bill wildlife biologist position is an ideal opportunity to use my skill set of habitat management to benefit Illinois’ wildlife, and I am looking forward to once again calling the Midwest home,” notes Gass.

Brandon Bleuer – (Galesburg Area) Rock Island, Henry, Knox, Warren, and Mercer Counties – An Illinois native, Bleuer is “familiar with the state’s landscape and ecology,” a knowledgebase he plans on using to improve upland wildlife populations in Knox and surrounding counties. Bleuer graduated from Upper Iowa University with a B.S. in Conservation Management. Prior to joining Pheasants Forever, Bleuer worked for Nahant Marsh as a Conservation Crew Leader and the Fayette County Conservation Board. Brandon can be contacted at BBleuer@quailforever.org or 309-660-3147.

Brandon Beltz – (Effingham Area) Effingham, Fayette, Cumberland, Jasper and Clay Counties – An Illinois farm bill wildlife biologist since 2010, Beltz transitions into his new position serving the Effingham area. Prior to this transition, Beltz worked as a farm bill wildlife biologist in the Champaign area providing technical assistance and promoting conservation programs to private landowners alongside local USDA, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, DNR employees, as well as local PF/QF chapters. Beltz can be contacted at BBeltz@quailforever.org or 217-853-0801.

Jason Bleich – (Champaign Area) Champaign, Vermilion, Ford, Iroquois and Douglas Counties – A new employee of Pheasants Forever, Bleich transitions into Brandon Beltz’s formerly held Champaign County Farm Bill wildlife biologist position. Bleich graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2010, where he majored in zoology with a minor in environmental studies. In addition, Bleich interned at the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, the Iowa DNR, the Illinois DNR, and the Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

“Throughout my education, I participated in projects with organizations and agencies such as Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, the Clinton Lake Waterfowl Association, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources,” says Bleich. “My experiences and volunteer efforts have helped me realize my passion for working in private land conservation. I feel that it is equally important to recognize and improve the quality of existing habitat as well as encourage and promote the establishment of new habitat. Now is a vital time to educate and communicate with landowners and producers how modern agriculture practices and wildlife habitat can co-exist and benefit one another.”
Prior to joining Pheasants Forever, Bleich worked for the Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District. Bleich can be contacted at JBleich@quailforever.org or 217-855-0496.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s fifth farm bill wildlife biologist, Brady Wooten, covers Wayne, Jefferson, Marion, Hamilton and White Counties. Wooten can be contacted at BWooten@quailforever.org or (217) 853-9621.

Farm bill wildlife biologists are employees of, and supervised by QF, with daily instruction and leadership provided by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Funding is provided by NRCS, the IDNR and local PF/QF Chapters. The farm bill wildlife biologist program began in 2003 with 4 positions and has grown to over 100 positions located throughout the country.

Illinois is home to 43 Pheasants Forever chapters, 18 Quail Forever chapters and a combined 10,400 PF/QF members. For more information on “The Habitat Organization” in Illinois, please contact Aaron Kuehl at (217) 341-7171 / email Aaron.

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 720 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.
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Rehan Nana (651) 209-4973 or email Rehan

Latest Quail Research Available in New Volume

The latest in peer-reviewed quail research is now available in a 386-page volume, Quail VII: Proceedings of the Seventh National Quail Symposium.

Latest Quail Research

Quail VII content is diverse, containing over 80 papers and abstracts—with 27 state and federal agencies, universities and institutes reporting on their work at the Seventh National Quail Symposium in Tucson, Arizona January 9-12, 2012. Geographically, the findings have implications for an area(s) bounded Oregon, Nebraska, New Jersey, and south to Florida and Brazil.

Quail VII covers a multitude of topics, including translocation of mountain quail and northern bobwhite, phylogeography of scaled quail and bobwhites (northern bobwhite, Yucat√°n bobwhite, spot-bellied bobwhite and crested bobwhite), hybridization of Gambel’s and California quail, Mearns’ (Montezuma) quail, nutrition, arthropods, exotic grasses, the Conservation Reserve Program, predation, parasites, eyeworms, survival, reproduction, thermoregulation, harvest prescriptions, climate change, economics, conservation planning, attitudes of private landowners, etc.

The research also covers a pervasive theme of quail management, pen-reared bobwhites. Two papers describe the actual efficacy of the Surrogator® system, and another describes a groundbreaking advancement, use of prenatal and post-hatch imprinting to improve survival of genetically wild pen-reared bobwhites.

Quail VII has the latest research and management on the endangered masked bobwhite.  The masked bobwhite is even closer to extinction than other gallinaceous birds recently in the news, the Gunnison sage grouse and lesser prairie-chicken.  Quail VII includes one of the most comprehensive reviews of masked bobwhite habitat and populations to date by species expert David E. Brown, plus the latest on natural and artificial restoration efforts in the USA and Mexico, and a review of effects of invasive grasses on masked bobwhite.

Quail VII also includes executive summaries of both the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative 2.0 (NBCI 2.0) and The Western Quail Plan, ensuring a permanent published record of these ground-breaking initiatives.

The Quail VII volume was made possible by contributions by Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Wild Turkey Federation, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, Texas Tech Quail Tech Alliance and Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch. 

Copies are available for $40 at  http://bringbackbobwhites.org/donate-2/online-store.


Headquartered at the University of Tennessee, NBCI is a project of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide, policy-level leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state fish and wildlife agencies as well as academic research institutions and non-governmental conservation organizations. NBCI is funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, two dozen state wildlife management agencies, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Southern Company. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bobwhite Quail program Saturday 6/8/2013 in Houston TX

Post-Bulletin staff

A program on the bobwhite quail, which were once common around here but now rare, will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Houston Nature Center at the trailhead of the Root River Trail in northwest Houston.

Thurman Tucker, who has been working to restore bobwhite habitat for a few decades, will talk about the bird, its problems and how to help it recover.

This program is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged. The Houston Nature Center is located one block north of the intersection of Minnesota highways 16 and 76 in Houston in Trailhead Park.

For more information, contact the Nature Center at 507-896-4668 or nature@acegroup.cc.

Original PostBulletin Article

Monday, June 3, 2013

Texas quail may get financial aid

By STEVE KNIGHT
outdoor@tylerpaper.com

Only time will tell if it makes a difference, but more money may be coming to help find an answer to what is happening to Texas’ quail and Eastern turkey populations.

If a budget proposal stands, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will have authority to spend not only the money it takes in annually with its Upland Game Bird stamp, but will also be able to spend down an almost $5 million fund surplus.

Of course nothing is simple when the Legislature gets involved, and that is certainly the case here. It started with Texas AgriLife Extension Service asking for $1 million a year during the next two-year budget cycle from the state’s general revenue fund to conduct bobwhite quail research and landowner education. Somehow that morphed into the money coming from TPWD’s Upland Game Bird stamp fund.

Then, answering calls for the fund surplus to be used, the Legislature has proposed allowing the department to spend not only its normal $1.5 million annually from the fund, but also an additional $2 million a year during the budget cycle on habitat work and other projects. This extra money is to be filtered out to universities and approved non-government agencies.

“Everyone has been worried about these balances. That takes care of them,” said Dave Morrison, TPWD small game program leader.

The Upland Game Bird stamp fund comes from a $7 stamp charged hunters who hunt quail and wild turkey or is included in Super Combo license. Previously the department has been authorized through the state budget to spend about $1.5 million annually primarily on projects on wildlife management areas.

Morrison said that TAES will be able to control how it spends the money, but it comes with the provision that TPWD must approve the programs. As the budget bill is written, TAES can use the money to research diseases and toxins affecting quail, develop diagnostic testing, do DNA mapping of the birds, conduct field studies and demonstrations and develop a central bank for quail research. TAES may also use some of the money to underwrite quail research conducted by other universities as well.

Even without the budget having been approved yet, TPWD is already looking for additional projects for the extra $2 million it could receive.

“We are working on it. We have focus areas and I have asked our guys for ideas of things to be done. This is a lot grander than we imagined,” Morrison said.

Morrison said the department is already asking universities and researchers to admit proposals in focus areas in Northeast Texas, the western portion of the Cross Timbers, nine counties in the Coastal Plains region and western Navarro and Ellis counties in the Blackland Prairie region. Research efforts and projects in Northeast Texas would focus on Eastern wild turkeys and will most likely involve the use of controlled burns. The area originally included just Bowie and Red River counties, but has been expanded to Camp, Cass, Delta, Hunt, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Harrison, Hopkins, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Rains, Titus, Upshur, and Wood counties.

“We are talking about doing things on private property,” Morrison said of the expected projects statewide.

He added that it could be difficult to come up with enough worthwhile projects to spend the entire amount on because starting in September when the state’s new fiscal year begins is an odd time for university researchers. Morrison said the money that isn’t used will go back into the stamp fund if it can’t be rolled over to 2014-15 projects.

A smaller attempt to fund projects in the focus areas last year showed the department the difficulties of the task it faces.

“We did a truncated list of projects last year to the tune of $130,000. We are going to have to think big,” Morrison said.
Some say the money is needed to turn around a quail population that has been in a decline for two decades. Morrison is among a group of biologists that believe two back-to-back years of normal rainfall will make a bigger difference.

In East Texas quail can almost be considered extinct as their numbers are so low and populations are so fragmented. Instead the department hopes it can bolster its turkey restoration program that is currently just hanging on in some counties.