RPQRR’s efforts at using translocation of wild-trapped quails to restore former populations has enjoyed a good spring thus far. We began our second year of translocation of bobwhites to Erath County and a “booster shot” of blue quail at RPQRR.
The Erath County Quail Restoration Project is now in its second year. Graduate student John Palarski scoured ranches in west and south Texas and his team’s hard work paid off—they trapped and translocated 46 bobwhites from west Texas and 191 bobwhites from south Texas. Most of those birds were released on March 16 (after 2 weeks of “sequestration”). The last two surrogators were sequestered another 10 days and served as an “anchor” to help minimize dispersal by the birds released previously. Initial results suggest the strategy worked.
Then last Thursday (Mar 26) we released 75 blue quail at RPQRR to boost our population there. The blue quail (n=78) we released in 2014 did very well for the first three years but have waned since then. The current translocation effort involved birds that were trapped on two sites further west (Bailey and Crane counties).
Most of the hens were radio-marked and their survival and nesting success will be monitored over the next six months. Go forth and multiply! Thanks to all of our “quail donors” for your quail philanthropy, and to the Cross Timbers and Park Cities chapters of Quail Coalition for funds to support these efforts. Bobwhite photo by Elizabeth Brogan; blue quail photo by Katy Hoskins.
To view a slow-motion version of one of the blue quail releases, see https://spaces.hightail.com.