Saturday, July 25, 2020

WV's quail restoration steadies after shaky start


Under the clear West Virginia sky, a distinctive bird call rolled out across the landscape.
Bob … white!
It was a sound that hadn’t been heard in Logan County for close to 50 years — the song of a wild bobwhite quail. Now it’s being heard again.
Four months ago, state wildlife officials stocked 48 of the chunky little gamebirds on the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area near Holden. Logan Klingler, the area’s manager, said they’re still there.
“Last week, while I was working out near the [elk-release] pens, I heard four separate ones,” Klingler said. “Later, I [flushed] two that were dusting in the road. We know they’re around, but we don’t know how many.”
That uncertainty stems from a mistake Klingler and other biologists made when they fitted the birds with tiny electronic tracking collars.
“We hadn’t worked with these collars before,” Klingler said. “There’s a wire you’re supposed to crimp a certain way, and we put the wrong bend in it. A lot of the collars fell off.”
Thirty-five of the 48 birds received collars. Klingler said more than half of the devices dropped off almost immediately, and several more have dropped off since then.
“The first morning I went out to track them, I picked up a mortality sensor,” he continued. “I marked that bird as dead. Then I picked up another mortality signal, and another, and another.”
As it turned out, all the signals were coming from the box the quail were released from.
“We had a ‘soft release,’ where we put the quail in a box and then opened the box so they could leave whenever they wanted,” Klingler explained. “We looked in the box. The collars were there, but the quail weren’t.”
The loss of the collars will affect the amount of data biologists can collect, not only about the birds’ comings and goings, but also on the number killed by hawks, owls, bobcats, coyotes and other predators.
“We’ve had some predation already,” Klingler said. “We can usually tell what the predator was by the evidence they leave behind.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Stories from the Wild: Canary of the Prairie Wild Quail Dale Rollins Video

If not for Dale Rollins, we would be without quail in west Texas. He channels his inspiring personality and passion for life into protecting the future of bobwhite quail. While there are many ways to measure his success, none matters to him more than instilling a love for wildlife in future generations.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

South Caroline Quail management seminar registration open

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host the 31st annual Wild Quail Management Seminar at the Webb Wildlife Center in Hampton County on Thursday March 12 through Friday March 13,. This seminar is designed for landowners and land managers interested in improving their skills in managing habitat for native populations of bobwhite quail.
Seminar topics will include:
Habitat Manipulation including demonstrations of prescribed burning, firebreak establishment, brush control, discing for natural foods and food patch planting
Presentations on wild quail management by DNR wildlife biologists
Field Trips on the Webb Wildlife Center demonstrating habitat management practices,

Guest Speakers from the South Carolina Forestry Commission and Natural Resources Conservation Service
Research Update (Tall Timbers) on recent projects in the southeast
Continuing Forestry Education Credits (TBD)
There will be evening activities, so please plan to be available. Submit registration form with a check ($85/person) payable to HARRY HAMPTON WILDLIFE FUND. (We do not have credit card capability.) Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so send your registration form and check as soon as possible. The registration fee includes overnight accommodations (bunkhouse-type accommodations - rooms will be shared by 3-6 people (there are no private rooms)), meals and seminar materials.
The deadline to register is Friday February 28. For more information call (803) 734-3609.
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