orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Outdoors

November 5, 2012

Dry Times; Worst Drought in Decades Continues to Cut Texas Quail Counts

LUBBOCK, Texas —  

Three years into a five-year project aimed at stemming a massive decline of quail in Texas, researchers with a conservation alliance based at Texas Tech University are finding that last year’s blistering drought didn’t help that rescue effort one bit.

 

“Even though we’ve seen improvement in this year’s reproductive efforts, it’s important to look at reality,” said Brad Dabbert, Quail-Tech Alliance research project director and associate professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management. “We’re coming off one of the worst droughts on record and we’re seeing a corresponding reproductive failure. While environmental conditions improved during winter and spring, we can’t expect populations to rebound in a single year.”

 

Starting in 2009, Quail-Tech Alliance and Texas Tech designated a 38-county research area in west central and northwest Texas, an area that encompasses more than 22 million acres or roughly 10 times the size of Yellowstone National Park. Within each of the counties, one ranch is designated as an anchor ranch to serve as a field research or demonstration site.

 

Among the historic ranches on the list attempting to save the small bird, known as a northern bobwhite quail, are the 6666 Ranch, Guthrie’s Pitchfork Ranch, Vernon’s W. T. Waggoner Ranch, Collingsworth County’s Mill Iron Ranch and Archer County’s Circle A Ranch.

 

While the Lone Star state’s historic drought inhibited reproduction over most of the Rolling Plains last summer – exasperating bird deaths over the winter – researchers are encouraged to see many birds in reproductive condition this nesting season.

 

“It’s amazing what a little timely rain can do,” Dabbert said. “We’ve had reports of broods in many areas of the Rolling Plains.”

 

Meanwhile, this fall the team is taking a closer look at another factor affecting quail longevity – predators. They’re initiated an ongoing program to monitor predator activity using cameras on the anchor ranches in the Quail-Tech Alliance program. The initial results are still being examined, but among the animals caught on camera are skunks, coyotes, raccoons, and, amazingly, a bobcat.

Text Only
Outdoors
  • Rescue and release Dolphin rescued in Cow Bayou

    SeaWorld San Antonio’s Animal Rescue Team, along with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, rescued an adolescent bottlenose dolphin in distress that was out-of-habitat in Cow Bayou near Bridge City this past Wednesday.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chester TV.jpg Leader outdoors editor to host wildlife program on GETV

     Lions, tigers and bears.

    July 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Writing winners OHS students win Dorothy Richey Memorial Writing Contest

    Orangefield High School English teacher, Jennifer Rumsey, sponsored a writing contest for her students.

    May 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • Kevin VanDam VanDam hits town with new wrap featuring fans

    Kevin VanDam, 4-time Bassmaster Classic champion and 7 time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year goes through the boat inspection in Orange Sunday. As part of a promotion called "Ride with the Pro" Kevin VanDam's truck and boat wrap consists of thousands of pictures of fans.

    March 11, 2013 2 Photos

  • Skeet Reese's Giant Rig Skeet Reese's Rig

    Bassmaster Classic champion and Angler of the Year Skeet Reese is driving a massive rig on this year's Elite Series tour.

    March 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • Simon Outfitters.jpg Pros to appear at Simon Outfitters Saturday

    Simon Outfitters located at 2674 MacArthur Dr. in Orange will host a very special meet and greet with Bassmaster Elite Series pros and other outdoors celebrities Saturday (March 9).

    March 9, 2013 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster pros to appear at Simon Outfitters Saturday

    Simon Outfitters located at 2674 MacArthur Dr. in Orange will host a very special meet and greet with Bassmaster Elite Series pros and other outdoors celebrities Saturday. From noon till 6 more than a dozen pros including Gerald Swindle, Brit Myers, David Walker, Zell Roland and Paul Elias will be on hand to meet with fans and talk fishing.

     

    Also appearing will be T-Roy Broussard and Harlan “Bigfoot” Hatcher from television’s “Swamp People”.

     

    “We’re going to have tackle vendors, barbecue and bounce houses for the kids. It’s our way of celebrating having the Bassmasters in our home town and sort of officially introducing ourselves to the public,” said owner Jonathon Simon.

     

    Simon Outfitters is a fully stocked tackle shop with fresh and saltwater offerings as well as a growing number of hunting items.

     

    For more information, call 409-883-4400.

    March 7, 2013

  • Operation Shark Fin targets illegal gill netting and long lines along lower coast

    Operation Shark Fin, a four-day, around-the-clock Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement effort along the lower coast aimed at disrupting trans-national criminal organizations engaged in illegal commercial fishing and other activities in the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande, and Lake Falcon has resulted in the seizure of 17,500 feet of long lines, two vessels and 15 citations or arrests.

    March 1, 2013

  • Dry Times; Worst Drought in Decades Continues to Cut Texas Quail Counts

    The news is not good, as quail hunting season has just begun in Texas.

    November 5, 2012

  • Moore explores God’s Outdoors Moore explores God’s Outdoors

    October marks 20 years of Chester Moore’s career in the outdoors business and he is celebrating it in unique way.

    September 29, 2012 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide