April 25, 2018
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
HARRISON - Join the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Quail Forever and the Boone County Natural Resources Conservation Service in a night devoted to bringing back the bobwhite at the Harrison Federal Building, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. May 3.
As part of the AGFC’s continued commitment to the conservation of northern bobwhite in Arkansas, private lands biologists have partnered with Quail Forever and the NRCS to offer this special workshop for landowners interested in restoring quail populations. Quail face many challenges today that were not present during upland game’s heyday in The Natural State. More efficient farming and ranching practices, as well as land conversion for other human interests has reduced northern bobwhite habitat to a fraction of what it once was.
Jessica Cox, Farm Bill Program biologist for Quail Forever, says the workshop will cover basic quail biology as well as their habitat needs, but a major component will be focused on programs available to get boots on the ground and begin the work needed to create that habitat.
“Since I began working in this area for Quail Forever in December, I have had a lot of calls and interest in bobwhites from local landowners,” Cox said. “The largest concern many had was the expense of converting their land to good habitat. In some cases, good quail habitat can be established with very little expense, and many programs are available to offset the cost of converting the land to good cover or feeding grounds for quail.”
Cox is one of seven biologists hired by Quail Forever in the last year to help establish quail habitat on private land throughout Arkansas.
The AGFC’s Private Lands Program also will have biologists on hand to talk about quail biology and the AGFC’s Acres for Wildlife Program, which provides seed and technical assistance to establish wildlife habitat on private land. A district biologist from the US Department of Agriculture also will be available to talk about Federal programs through the Natural Resource Conservation Service to help with habitat restoration.
Cox says more workshops will be scheduled for surrounding areas in the future, but that’s not the only way to get started providing needed habitat for quail.
“We can always come out and work with landowners face-to-face on ways to help establish good wildlife habitat on their property,” Cox said. “These workshops just really help everyone learn together and cover questions each person may not have come up with on their own.”
Food will be provided to all attendees who register by April 27, but anyone can come to learn about quail whether they registered or not. Please contact Jessica Cox at 870-741-8600 Ext. 110 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.