Quail Unlimited and Budweiser Set Conservation Milestone with ‘Adopt a Covey” Program

Quail Unlimited/Budweiser’s “Adopt-A-Covey” program was established in 2005. Enrollment is free, and can be completed online at the QU website http://www.qu.org. All entries are regionally evaluated to select one winner in each of the nine regions, based on the quality and quantity of management activities conducted. A national winner is then chosen from these regional finalists. All winners and cooperators qualify for various prizes outlined on QU’s website.

The Cedars Plantation, a farm property owned by Jeff Churan and family of Avalon, Mo., today was named national winner of the “Adopt-A-Covey” quail habitat management program by Quail Unlimited (QU) and Budweiser. More than 100,000 acres of private lands were enrolled by some 300 participants in all nine QU regions of the United States during the first year of the “Adopt-A-Covey” program.

Adopt-A-Covey is the first-of-its-kind private land conservation initiative introduced to improve quail densities by encouraging and recognizing private land owners to properly manage and enhance quail habitat through wildlife-friendly practices on their properties. Churan will be awarded with an all-expenses-paid slot in the 2007 Chevrolet Celebrity Hunt, a feature article and front cover photo in Quail Unlimited magazine, and a supporters’ package containing various merchandise from Budweiser and QU partners.

Churan successfully designed and implemented an intensive quail habitat program, expected to serve as a benchmark program for private land owners, on 360 acres of land in Missouri, while still maintaining a viable agricultural operation and his family’s farm income. To help execute his quail management plan, Churan enlisted the services of Private Land Conservationists within the State of Missouri, as recommended by the QU Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative.

“We congratulate Jeff and his family for an outstanding effort and national model,” said Rocky Evans, president of Quail Unlimited, the leading organization in quail conservation. “The response to this program was a huge success – members and land owners were exceptionally committed to implementing programs guided by our QU biologists and leading experts in the field. We also extend our thanks to Budweiser for the brand’s dedication and support of QU’s habitat management efforts – they continue to embrace new conservation challenges to help preserve our natural resources.”

Churan divided his land into 36, ten-acre habitat blocks with the assumption that one covey could occupy one block – creating three, 120 acre hunting courses. Churan’s goal for each block was to ensure 50 percent of the land was crop, 50 percent grass and that each included covey headquarters in woody cover. Since 1997, his efforts have increased the number and size of quail coveys from 11 to 28, and last year alone he increased four full coveys estimated at ten birds per covey.

“We’re elated to be recognized as leaders in efforts to improve quail habitat,” said Churan. “I am convinced that awareness is the key to wider landowner acceptance of wildlife-friendly practices on their farms, and will be happy to offer our farm as a demonstration area to show what can be done.”

Quail Unlimited/Budweiser’s “Adopt-A-Covey” program was established in 2005. Enrollment is free, and can be completed online at the QU website http://www.qu.org. All entries are regionally evaluated to select one winner in each of the nine regions, based on the quality and quantity of management activities conducted. A national winner is then chosen from these regional finalists. All winners and cooperators qualify for various prizes outlined on QU’s website.
Full details regarding Churan’s quail habitat management plan will be featured in the December issue of Quail Unlimited magazine, and Jeff’s ongoing progress can be viewed at http://www.qu.org.

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