Eye Worms Hurting TX Quail?

January 10, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

Lone Star Outdoor news recently carried an article on a speech given by Dr. Dale Rollins of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch near Rotan, Texas. Seems that a major threat to quail, at least in the Lone Star state, may be an eyeball worm. News to us! Highlights:

> Especially mysterious were the continued declines in 2010, which was on schedule to see some quail increases, being on the upside of a boom-bust cycle.

> Rollins noted that 2010 was mostly a wet year. “You’ve heard the old saying, ‘If it rains, we’ll have quail,’” Rollins said. “Well it did and we didn’t. Something happened on the landscape.”

> He said researchers are now looking at a couple maladies, including eye worms…. A lot of quail brought to researchers appear to have died from trauma, which he noted is odd. He speculated that the worms might be covering the birds’ eyes, causing them to fly into fixed objects or surfaces.

> Obscured vision may also prevent the birds from seeing predators. He also said that no conclusions have been reached on diseases, but research continues.

More on TX Quail

> Although 2011 is the driest [year] on record in Texas, the fall and early winter saw decent rainfall. The result: good winter weeds suitable for productive nesting.

> Rollins said many of the surviving quail on the range now are mature hens that, he hoped, will help boost production.

> Apparently, according to this recent info, these eye worms have not been found in OK quail.



Category: OK, Quail, TX

Comments (1)

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  1. AT says:

    The problem with these “red herrings” is that with only one year to recover, small populations cannot recover in one year. It will take 2-3 years for good habitat conditions for the quail to recover. Worms are likely not the issue. The study is great for quail natural history, but likely not going to help quail populations recover.

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