Commission biologist supports latest quail-restoration project

Can Habitat Foundation's quail fund continue what CURE started?

Craig Holt

March 27, 2012 at 9:32 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Biologists believe that an increase in good habitat can help bolster quail populations on private and public lands.
Craig Holt
Biologists believe that an increase in good habitat can help bolster quail populations on private and public lands.
The decline of bobwhite quail in the southeast and in North Carolina has been increasingly alarming to sportsmen.

Over the past 40 years, quail have nearly vanished from their former ranges. Isolated pockets of quail remain in the Southeast, and it’s pretty easy to see why in those areas – lack of human intrusion and good habitat are keys – but even those birds face challenge as predators have spread across the landscape; raptors are protected and few trappers remain to control furbearers.

The N.C. Wildlife Habitat Foundation is the latest group to take on the challenge of returning quail to their former habitat. Eddie Bridges of Greensboro, a former member of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and head of the NCWHF, has gathered several former Quail Unlimited chapters under his group’s umbrella and started a Quail Habitat Fund to help members get quail re-started on their properties.

Mark Jones of Craven County, the biologist in charge of quail for the Commission who was keynote speaker at the NCWHF’s annual banquet in March is an enthusiastic supporter of the project.

“Bobwhite quail have been declining 2.9 percent per year from Virginia to Texas,” he said, pointing at a lack of good small-game habitat as the major curse. “If your quail numbers decline 2.9 percent over a 30-year period, you can see they have to be in trouble.

“We are stitching together a bunch of landscapes (in southeastern North Carolina) on the private level, and I think it can work,” he said. “(The Commission) would like to partner with the Foundation as it moves forward in this project. I believe this group could create a landowner/quail success story if you follow these ideas, but it’s going to take intensive efforts.

The Commission attempted in the last 15 years to stem the decline of quail habitat by establishing the Cooperative Upland habitat Restoration and Enhancement (CURE) program and funding it with $2 million from the Wildlife Endowment Fund to try to improve quail populations by establishing habitat on three “landscape” sized areas across the state. The theory was that if quail could be re-established, they might spread into adjoining areas and the population might expand.

CURE accomplished half of its goal — it created three large quail/small-game-friendly habitats at Turnersburg in Iredell County, Benthall Plantation in Northampton County and what’s now called the Southeastern Focal Area — Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County, Suggs Mill Pond Game Land in Bladen County and nearby small-farm land acreages in Sampson County. CURE also funded habitat efforts at other game lands, such as the Caswell Game Lands.

One problem with CURE, Jones said, was that the Commission ran out of money to pay landowners to convert their land to good small-game habitat. He remains convinced that large-scale landscape projects offer the best solution, That’s one reason he’s excited about the NCWHF’s Quail Habitat Fund – if the effort enrolls enough participating landowners.

Jones highlighted a few ways landowners could help provide what quail that remain with better habitat.

• Landowners can leave field edges grown up instead of cultivating every square foot of soil into tillable land;

• Prescribed, controlled burnings can provide quail with good habitat;

• Reduce the amount of fescue planted for cattle;

• Consider establishing openings inside wooded areas;

• Leave areas fallow where quail can forage for insects.

“If you think all you need to do is go out and plant food plots for quail, you’ll likely be disappointed,” he said. “You can’t manage for maximum timber volume and have quail at the same time.”


View other articles written Craig Holt


Reports / Forum
Take a tree stand, please  This report contains photos  
April 20 at 1:21 pm | 823 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
April 19 at 9:31 am | 777 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 711 Views | 2 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
April 19 at 5:15 pm | 693 Views | 0 Comments
Double with Golden  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:45 pm | 585 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
April 19 at 2:12 pm | 543 Views | 0 Comments
GT and Viper 
April 21 at 7:46 pm | 509 Views | 4 Comments
First turkey and with a bow!  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 3:29 pm | 425 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 373 Views | 0 Comments
Golden Wings  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:42 pm | 361 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
April 18 at 10:59 am | 331 Views | 0 Comments
Cold, Rainy and Windy Tough on Fishing 
April 20 at 2:23 pm | 315 Views | 0 Comments
Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 9:18 am | 279 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
April 19 at 1:55 pm | 247 Views | 0 Comments
Tagged Out!  This report contains photos  
15 hours ago | 181 Views | 0 Comments
First Gobbler!  This report contains photos  
15 hours ago | 145 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
GT and Viper 
April 21 at 7:46 pm | 509 Views | 4 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 711 Views | 2 Comments
Tagged Out!  This report contains photos  
15 hours ago | 181 Views | 0 Comments
First Gobbler!  This report contains photos  
15 hours ago | 145 Views | 0 Comments
Golden Wings  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:42 pm | 361 Views | 0 Comments
First turkey and with a bow!  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 3:29 pm | 425 Views | 0 Comments
Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 9:18 am | 279 Views | 0 Comments
Cold, Rainy and Windy Tough on Fishing 
April 20 at 2:23 pm | 315 Views | 0 Comments
Take a tree stand, please  This report contains photos  
April 20 at 1:21 pm | 823 Views | 0 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
April 19 at 5:15 pm | 693 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
April 19 at 2:12 pm | 543 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
April 19 at 1:55 pm | 247 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
April 19 at 9:31 am | 777 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
April 18 at 10:59 am | 331 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 373 Views | 0 Comments
Double with Golden  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:45 pm | 585 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
Tagged Out!  This report contains photos  
15 hours ago | 181 Views | 0 Comments
First Gobbler!  This report contains photos  
15 hours ago | 145 Views | 0 Comments
GT and Viper 
April 21 at 7:46 pm | 509 Views | 4 Comments
Double with Golden  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:45 pm | 585 Views | 0 Comments
Golden Wings  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:42 pm | 361 Views | 0 Comments
First turkey and with a bow!  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 3:29 pm | 425 Views | 0 Comments
Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 9:18 am | 279 Views | 0 Comments
Cold, Rainy and Windy Tough on Fishing 
April 20 at 2:23 pm | 315 Views | 0 Comments
Take a tree stand, please  This report contains photos  
April 20 at 1:21 pm | 823 Views | 0 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
April 19 at 5:15 pm | 693 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
April 19 at 2:12 pm | 543 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
April 19 at 1:55 pm | 247 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
April 19 at 9:31 am | 777 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
April 18 at 10:59 am | 331 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 373 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 711 Views | 2 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum

Free Classifieds

Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Excellent Desert Eagle 40 caliber Hand Gun For Sale,6 ' barrel,semi rnrnautomatic,& made by Magnum Research,right here in the USA,& comes with 1-7 rnrnround magazine, super heavy duty fitted carry case with soft rummer rnrninside,take down...
April 20 at 3:13 am | 38 Views
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Excellent Desert Eagle 40 caliber Hand Gun For Sale,6 ' barrel,semi rnrnautomatic,& made by Magnum Research,right here in the USA,& comes with 1-7 rnrnround magazine, super heavy duty fitted carry case with soft rummer rnrninside,take down...
April 20 at 3:18 am | 61 Views
MDBR Hunting Club has 4 openings!
MDBR Hunting Club has 4 openings!
MDBR Hunting Club is a small 10 member club with a 350 acre lease near Gulf, NC (Chatham County). No Dog Hunting in Chatham county! Very peaceful area! Membership dues pay for lease & insurance. Anyone interested should visit our website at...
Yesterday at 1:41 pm | 32 Views
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
70hp Yamaha 4 stroke with 6' jack plate, only 25 hours. 2012 custom fit float on/off trailer w/removable tongue, Mossy oak W/ Bimini top. Fish finder, GPS, 55lb Min Kota trolling motor, live well, cooler bench seat with leaning post, two lockable...
April 19 at 11:35 am | 163 Views
NEW REMINGTON 870 TACTICAL/ULTIMATE COMBAT SHOTGUN
NEW REMINGTON 870 TACTICAL/ULTIMATE COMBAT SHOTGUN
This new 870 was built for one purpose to save your life or your family's. It has form function and reliability. Has a Mesa Tactical recoil reducing 6 position stock. There is no felt recoil even with 3 inch buck plus the stock is comfortable in...
23 hours ago | 24 Views
Still Hunting Deer Club
Still Hunting Deer Club
Membership available in still hunting deer club for the 2014-15 season. Club has almost 4,000 acres of leased land and owns 55 acres with a two story club house. Club is located in Warren county about 5 miles from Littleton. Club dues are $725.00....
April 21 at 7:43 am | 119 Views