Northern bobwhite quail populations have declined significantly throughout Florida as a result of tremendous changes in land use (Hines 2004). Within peninsular Florida, bobwhite breeding populations declined at an annual rate of 4.3% since 1980 and harvest of bobwhites declined 81% during this period (Dimmick et al. 2002).
Relative to other agro-ecosystems in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has identified ranchlands as having a high potential for bobwhite restoration under the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative. This approach is logical because 73% of the population goal for this Bird Conservation Region (BCR) could be met through restoration of approximately 7% of native rangelands.
To reverse habitat declines will require cooperation among ranch managers, biologists, and range specialists. To address these issues we have developed a cooperative habitat restoration project which has the charge of innovating systems for improving bobwhite habitat on rangelands. Habitat improvements will be guided by the NBCI and implemented using funds from private and Farm Bill sources (McKenzie 1997). Collectively, this project provides specific guidance to individual ranches on habitat implementation and tests the efficacy of these practices for increasing bobwhite populations. However, the ultimate goal is achieving NBCI objectives by providing science-based decision tools to managers implementing NBCI on rangelands in Florida.
- PhD candidate
Last modified 2006-04-20 10:08