Quail-Tech Alliance lands $110K gift from Dallas-based sportsman group
In an ongoing effort to restore Texas’ wild quail populations, Dallas-based Park Cities Quail has donated $110,000 to Quail-Tech Alliance, a conservation alliance based at Texas Tech University. The nonprofit group, which hopes to slow the region’s declining wild quail population, made the presentation on Wednesday (Aug. 2) during a special ceremony at Collectors Covey in Dallas.
“The challenges confronting our research program are complex, and we certainly appreciate the support of Park Cities Quail,” said Brad Dabbert, Quail-Tech Alliance research project director and associate professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management. “These funds will have a tremendous impact.”
The Quail-Tech Alliance, a partnership between Tech’s natural resources management department and Quail First, a Dallas-based non-profit organization, is conducting research and demonstration projects on an array of topics. The research focuses on investigating the potential benefits or detriments of supplemental feeding; understanding the factors that influence over-winter survival of adults and summer-to-fall survival of the brood; and refining the way prescribed burning, brush modification and livestock grazing are used as tools of habitat management.
Even before Texas’ devastating droughts, quail were already in trouble. Five years ago the National Audubon Society listed the Northern Bobwhite Quail as the No. 1 common bird in decline. From 1967 to 2007, the bird’s population decreased from 31 million to 5.5 million. “They’re declining everywhere, but quail numbers are higher here in the Rolling Plains than other parts of the country,” Dabbert said.
As part of the project, Texas Tech is partnering with some of state’s storied ranches and smaller rural properties. Launched in January 2010, it’s expected to encompass 22 million acres in a 44-county area in west central and northwest Texas. Participating ranches include Guthrie’s Pitchfork Ranch, Vernon’s W. T. Waggoner Ranch, Collingsworth County’s Mill Iron Ranch and Archer County‘s Circle A Ranch.
The project’s massive geographic area allows Tech researchers to study a broad range of factors, including habitat, toxins, supplemental feed, fire ants, chick survival and disease, Dabbert said. Plus, its five-year time span guards against catastrophic weather events and allows researchers to examine influences of variable annual weather patterns.
Program officials noted that since it’s inception in 2007, Park Cities Quail has raised more than $3.4 million. Park Cities Quail is the charter chapter of the Quail Coalition, a statewide organization which has 13 chapters and more than 4,000 members.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Brad Dabbert, associate professor, Department of Natural Resources Management Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2842 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Note: For more on the Quail-Tech Alliance project, click http://www.quail-tech.org