Whistling Pines – Mississippi’s newest QF Chapter

Residents from south central Mississippi have formed the state’s second chapter of Quail Forever (QF). The new chapter, to be called the Whistling Pines Chapter of QF, will focus their efforts on improving habitat for bobwhite quail in Amite, Pike, and Walthall counties. The new chapter is led by McComb resident Robert Felder.

“I grew up on a cattle farm near Pricedale where my dad taught me about bird hunting and conservation,” explained Felder about his reasons for starting the Whistling Pines Chapter of QF. “I’ve watched the area’s quail population drop over the years without much being done about it. So, I thought it was my time to get involved.”

Mississippi’s quail populations have plummeted since the early 1980’s. In 1980, state quail hunters harvested 1.5 million bobwhites. In 2004, only 84,710 quail were harvested statewide. State wildlife officials point to a number of habitat factors leading to the bobwhite quail’s decline; including, intensified farming, exotic grasses taking over native species, and unmanaged pine forests. However, there is cause for optimism.

“Every habitat problem facing quail in Mississippi has a solution,” explained Andy Edwards, QF’s regional wildlife biologist. “Pine forest management, prescribed burning, mid-contract management of Conservation Reserve Program [CRP] lands, conversion of invasive Bahaia and Bermuda grasses to natives, habitat buffers in agricultural landscapes; these are the cures to our quail habitat problems.”

“My goal is to see a positive change in quail populations here in this three-county area within five years,” reported Felder. “I’m a lifelong quail hunter and quail conservationist who wants to bring back bobwhites to this landscape. Quail Forever’s local model provides us with the opportunity to make a positive impact for Mississippi quail.”

Pheasants Forever (PF) launched Quail Forever on August 10, 2005 to address the continuing loss of habitat suitable for quail and the subsequent quail population decline. Unlike all other national conservation organizations, QF and PF empower local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds will be spent. This local control allows members to see the fruits of their chapter efforts in their own communities, while belonging to a national organization with a voice on federal conservation policy in Washington D.C. Mississippi’s first QF chapter was formed on November 11, 2005 and is based in Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties.

The Whistling Pines Chapter of QF plans to hold their meetings at 6PM on the second Thursday of every month. The next meeting is scheduled for 6PM on Thursday, February 8th. The meetings will be held on the 6th floor of Southwest Regional Hospital in McComb. The public and media are invited to attend. For more information about the Whistling Pines Chapter, please contact Robert Felder at (601)684-7073. To learn more about starting a QF chapter in your area of Mississippi, please contact Andy Edwards at (931)424-3211 or via email at aedwards@quailforever.org.

1 Response to “Whistling Pines – Mississippi’s newest QF Chapter”

  1. 1 tsururin.but.jp Trackback on December 29, 2016 at 2:01 am

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