Fire Appreciation Day scheduled for May 24 at RPQRR
RPQRR will host a “Fire Appreciation Day” on May 24 starting at 9 a.m. The agenda will highlight most of the fire-related research we’ve conducted since 2008, and will also include speakers from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, Texas Tech’s Fire Ecology Lab, TPWD, NRCS, and others. Click here for a copy of the agenda. Pre-registration (due May 18) is $10/person; $20 thereafter. To pre-register, call Mary Lynn at 325-653-4576.
A New Way to Look at Quail Habitat
It’s called “density gradient modeling.” Think of it as a radar image depicting thunderstorm intensity. In this case being “in the red” is a good thing. Recently John Edwards, a PhD student at Texas A&M University-Kingsville conducted helicopter counts at RPQRR and 3 other area ranches to construct maps illustrating the spatial distribution of bobwhites across the property. The counts at RPQRR are part of a CKWRI research project studying the effects of habitat, climate, and raptors as factors in the quail decline. The map depicted here is a density-gradient map, which uses the covey-detection information provided from the survey such as covey size and location plus additional habitat variables to create a map of bobwhite density across the property. This allows us to evaluate bobwhite density spatially across the landscape. RPQRR’s Brad Kubecka, who is currently pursuing his MS degree at TAMU-K under Dr. Hernandez and me, will be analyzing similar data to better understand how habitat factors (e.g., brush density) affects such density-gradients over the course of the past seven years. Stay tuned; neat stuff.
Addressing the Eyeworm Threat in Bobwhite Quail
Addressing the Eyeworm Threat in Bobwhite Quail from Dale Rollins on Vimeo.
- Bruno, A., A. M. Fedynich, A. Smith-Herron, and D. Rollins. 2015. Pathological response of northern bobwhites to Oxyspirura petrowi infections. Journal of Parasitology: In-Press.
- Dunham,N. R., L. A. Soliz, A. Brightman, D. Rollins, A. M. Fedynich, and R. J. Kendall. 2015. Live eyeworm (Oxyspirura petrowi) extraction, in vitro culture, and transfer for experimental studies. Journal of Parasitology: 101:98-101.
- Dunham, N. R., L. A. Soliz, A.M. Fedynich, D. Rollins and R. J. Kendall. 2014.
Evidence of an Oxyspirura petrowi epizootic in northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus), Texas, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 50:552-558.
- L Xiang, F Guo, H Zhang, L LaCoste, D Rollins, A Bruno, AM Fedynich, and G. Zhu. 2013. Gene discovery, evolutionary affinity and molecular detection of Oxyspirura petrowi, an eye worm parasite of game birds. BMC Microbiology 13:233.
Operation Idiopathic Decline: Texas Tech Researchers Discover Blood-Sucking Parasite Epidemic in Wild Quail
Operation Idiopathic Decline confirmed that bobwhites across the Rolling Plains of Tx and OK are heavily infested with eyeworms and cecal worms. Additional research is underway at the Tx Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University to assess how eyeworms impact flying and foraging ability of quail, and towards the development of a method to treat wild quail for these two roundworms. Here the lead investigator on the project, Dr. Ron Kendall, provides an update.
Operation Idiopathic Decline: Search for the Smoking Gun
The role that disease and parasites may play in quail dynamics has been largely ignored since the 1920s. After the (in our opinion) inexplicable decline of quail in the Rolling Plains, the Board of RPQRF “got serious” about disease and funded a comprehensive project dubbed “Operation Idiopathic Decline.” Currently (as of Feb 2014), the RPQRF has invested $3.4 million into this ground-breaking study of disease and parasites. This webisode explains OID in more depth.