USDA Congratulates Conservationists on New Quail Studies Report

For 25 years, Quail Unlimited and its dedicated members and chapters nationwide have been the true leader in wild quail conservation, in the field, with research partners and with our legislators. We are so very pleased that the new Northern Bobwhite Quail report just issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows an overall growing population trend in states we have worked in diligently to stabilize and grow the quail population through habitat improvement.

The report states that Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri specifically, in CRP areas, have experienced a 3 percent overall population. “What a wonderful thank you to everyone who has dedicated themselves to wild quail”, states Rocky Evans, President of Quail Unlimited . “We know that we cannot sit back and enjoy the data. We must keep working to raise more funding, educate private landowners, and manage and work the ground to ensure this trend continues. Make no mistake; this is what we are working for with every cent raised by Quail Unlimited, its members and staff. Quail are our central- our only focus- and we are so grateful to have hard scientific evidence that validates the 25 years of work is paying off just the way it should”. “Further, it is critically important to recognize the various state conversation agencies without whose help this would not have happened. For example, in Missouri, working with the Missouri Department of Conservation, the QU Missouri Quail Habitat Initiative produced tens of thousands of dollars matched by the state for habitat work and, in fact, is now the model for all states.” Evans emphasized “state agencies are the conservation partners that we value beyond words.” “The studies offer good news to conservationists, biologists, hunters, bird watchers and others who care about the health of bird populations”, said John Johnson, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

In the Northern Bobwhite Quail study, conducted in 2005 and 2006, Mississippi State University (MSU) researchers found that, generally, quail numbers increased in CRP areas. CRP is a voluntary program, in which farmers and ranchers plant grasses and trees in crop fields and along streams that benefits wildlife. Today, more than 37 million acres are enrolled in the program.

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