Friday, August 8, 2014

TX AgriLife Extension to Offer Two Hill Country 'Facing the Quail Decline' Workshops

Steve Byrns, edited by Mike Innis

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will co-conduct two “Facing the Quail Decline” workshops in Kerr and Mason counties in September.

The programs will have similar formats, but speakers and topics will vary to fit the respective area. Both begin with registration from 7:30-8 a.m. followed immediately by the programs. The workshops should conclude by 3:30 p.m.

The Sept. 5 program is scheduled on the Kerr Wildlife Management Area near Hunt. The Sept. 12 program is set for the Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area near Mason.

Directions to the Kerr Wildlife Management Area can be found at and to the Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area at

“Thankfully, a large part of the state has been blessed with at least some rain, and reports of quail sightings are trickling in even from areas that have not heard a quail call in years,” said Dr. Jim Cathey, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist and associate department head for the wildlife and fisheries department at Texas A&M University, College Station. “Unfortunately, the big picture concerning wild quail numbers remains critically low, despite the reports.”

Topics common to both programs will include quail ecology and statewide perspective, Texas quail decline and a Texas Quail Index update. The Kerr County meeting will also address Montezuma quail research, while the Mason County program will discuss habitat management at a quail’s scale. Afternoon sessions will feature a demonstration on Quail Index monitoring techniques and habitat management conducted on each of the wildlife management areas.
As participant numbers must be limited to 100 at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area and 75 at the Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, early registration is recommended.

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