Quail, the most beleaguered of our beloved gamebirds, is getting a helping hand in Kansas. Or rather, a bigger helping hand. The state just announced that it’s “launching a new quail restoration initiative aimed at making a difference in declining bobwhite quail populations at a landscape level.”
> Includes the designation of two large quail management focal areas.
> As much as $500,000 of state wildlife fee funds over five years to attract landowner participation.
> Additional funding and support are being provided by the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation, Quail Forever, Safari Club International, Kansas Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy.
This would be great: “Primary objectives are a 50 percent increase in bobwhite populations and a 5 percent increase in suitable quail habitat in each focus area.”
> “Bobwhite populations in eastern Kansas have declined by 50 percent or more in the past three decades or so and even more across other parts of its range nationally,” says Jim Pitman, Kansas’ small game coordinator.
> “Biologists have associated the declines primarily with land use changes and resultant habitat loss….”
> KDWPT has targeted two regional bobwhite “focal areas” totaling nearly 310,000 acres for restoration over a 5-year period. The focal-area strategy reflects the national consensus that working at larger landscape levels rather than on small, scattered projects provides the best opportunity to save the bird.
> Kansas’ 194,911-acre northern focal area includes parts of Lyon, Wabaunsee, Coffey, and Osage counties. The core public lands are the 9,407-acre Melvern Wildlife Area and the 562-acre Lyon State Fishing Lake and Wildlife Area.
> The 113,711-acre southern focal area includes parts of Labette and Neosho counties. The public land centerpieces include the new Grand Osage Wildlife Area (formerly the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant)…[and] also includes the 1,320-acre Big Hill Wildlife Area.
> For more information, call the KDWPT Region 4 Office in Wichita at 316-683-4664. Download the pdf brochure here.