Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch’s Response to Texas Panhandle Fires

By March 12, 2024 Articles, Media

Dear Quail Community Members,

In light of the recent devastating fires that have swept through the Texas Panhandle, we at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by this tragic event. Our hearts go out to the families who have lost their homes, livelihoods, and the cherished landscapes that they hold dear.

As an organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of quail and the habitats in which they live, we recognize the urgent need for action in the face of such destruction. The fires have not only posed immediate threats to human safety, livestock, and property, but have also inflicted significant damage to the delicate ecosystems that support diverse wildlife populations, including the quail species that we are committed to studying and protecting.

If a silver-lining from a quail perspective is to be taken from these fires, we must remember, the Great Plains ecoregion has evolved and adapted to fire. In fact, fire strengthens and increases the productivity of grassland landscapes. The problem with the current scenario is one of scale.

The breadth of these fires was so immense that few if any unburned refugia remain to house wildlife while the landscape recovers, hence the need for our temporary intervention. While it is true the current state of the damage is significant, we biologists know it is temporary and in the long-run likely beneficial not just to quail, but other wildlife too.

In response to this crisis, the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation is mobilizing our resources and expertise to help restore and mitigate the damage caused by the fires to quail habitat. We plan to implement research studies in affected areas with the aim of understanding both short- and long-term effects of large-scale wildfires on quail populations and the associated recovery periods. Through these research initiatives, we hope to actively study the effects of wildfires on quail habitats and populations, as well as develop innovative strategies for habitat restoration and management in post-fire areas.

Furthermore, we are committed to helping landowners navigate the complex process of accessing federal and state financial support programs aimed at assisting in the recovery and restoration of fire-affected lands. Our team will provide guidance and assistance to landowners in understanding their eligibility for assistance programs, completing application processes, and accessing the resources needed to rebuild and restore their properties. We are currently awaiting response from multiple state and federal agencies regarding the availability and amounts of funding to be provided, and the eligibility criteria thereof.

We believe that by leveraging our collective knowledge, resources, and partnerships, we can make a meaningful difference in the recovery and resilience of quail in the Texas Panhandle in the wake of these devastating fires.

We encourage any quail properties seeking guidance on restoration or willing to participate in research to reach out to us at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation or visit our website ( for updates on our ongoing efforts.

For those wanting to make a donation to quail habitat restoration and research in the affected areas, donations may be mailed to the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation (earmarked for Panhandle Wildfires), or submitted through the donations page on our website by checking the “Dedicate this gift” box and selecting the “Panhandle Wildfires” option.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership in our shared mission of quail conservation and stewardship.


Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy
Executive Director
Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation
1262 US HWY 180,
Rotan, TX 79546
Phone: 321-279-6506