Conservation Matters January 2014

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Quail Decline research awards announced

Quail Decline research awards announced

Texas A&M AgriLife is wasting no time in putting legislatively mandated dollars to work to find the cause of the widespread loss of wild quail across Texas, officials said.

“Quail research awards have been made and instructions given to the investigators,” said Dr. Jim Cathey, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist and project leader for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative. “Applied research proposals were submitted on Nov. 11, and award notifications made Dec. 2. Work on funded projects will be starting soon.”

The $2 million initiative over two years includes dedicated research efforts as well as targeted education for landowners. Cathey serves as the initiative lead and works closely with Dr. Dale Rollins, the statewide coordinator for all efforts related to addressing quail decline in Texas. Of the 13 projects funded, those involved represent elements of The Texas A&M University System, as well as the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University and the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch.

The funded projects include work on fire ant control; a statewide Geographic Information Systems quail decline landscape model; work on aflatoxins relating to chronic low-level exposure, development of an easy-to-use aflatoxin detection method and control of aflatoxins; parasite treatments; “soft-release” of wild quail into new habitat; feral hog ramifications; quail genomics; insecticide impacts; and measuring the success of translocating bobwhites and scaled quail into their former ranges.

Read the full AgriLife TODAY article for more information.

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