Summer means outdoor activities such as fishing, softball and the calls of the bobwhite quail whistling in the fields. You might think that bobwhite quail and the game of softball have nothing to do with each other, but biologists always are looking for ways to describe habitat conditions and life cycles of animals such as bobwhites to landowners. One quail researcher in Texas has made such an analogy. Dr. Dale Rollins, Executive Director of the Rollins Plains Quail Research Ranch in Texas has developed a simple habitat evaluation technique to determine if your property is good for quail.
Henderson State University’s Simonson Biological Field Station made points with anglers earlier this year by conducting a large brush-pile project with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Black Bass Program, but where those trees came from may be an even greater story for conservation in Arkansas. Biologists and educators with Henderson State, the AGFC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have worked together on the project, not only to benefit fish, but also create open habitat, suitable for northern bobwhite and other wildlife on the 200 acres surrounding the field station on the shore of DeGray Lake.
That ancient oak standing amongst a crowded forest canopy may look like the perfect magnet for deer, but that tree may not be the best use of space for wildlife in the long run. Selectively removing some damaged, old and less productive trees is part of healthy forest management and necessary to begin the next generation of forest for our children to enjoy.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, which has already received matching funds from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to bring aboard a biologist devoted to habitat restoration for the northern bobwhite, is hoping that more NRCS money could be coming its way to bolster the AGFC’s quail initiative.