Tall Timbers leads the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
By Dr. Bill Palmer and Dr. Theron Terhune
The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), a national strategic plan for the recovery of northern bobwhites, is currently being revised by Tall Timbers. During the past year and a half, 25 state workshops were convened where invited biologists ranked the landscape (High to Low) based on habitat management opportunities and constraints. To date, more than 35 organizations (NGOs, state and natural resources agencies [e.g. DNR agencies, USFWS, NRCS, USDA]), academic institutions, joint ventures, and private wildlife professionals) and more than 600 professional biologists have participated in the ranking process and provided valuable input to buttress the revision process.
Additionally, 28 Web mapping Applications have been developed to facilitate geographic and habitat ranking information dissemination for use by natural resources and conservation organizations. As such, recently the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) selected the landscape habitat ranking map, created during this revision process, as criteria in Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to fund grants benefitting bird conservation in the Southeast (U.S.).
Each of the 25 states involved with the revision process have been solicited for habitat specific density data which is integral for the development of population targets and setting habitat management goals requisite to hastening bobwhite recovery throughout their range. An early draft of the NBCI strategic plan revision is expected to be completed by late-Summer with a final version made available by early-Fall.
Biologists delineated by regions rank habitat in Georgia for the NBCI revision at a workshop hosted by Tall Timbers and Georgia-DNR.