Quail Plantations Receive National Legacy Landscape Award

The Red Hills and Albany Area quail plantations received an impressive designation – National Legacy Landscape – in recognition of the landscape scale conservation efforts for bobwhites. The award honors the region’s landowners for their longstanding dedication to bobwhite management, the skilled managers that have sustained bobwhite populations, and the partnership with research and management agencies that has been a trademark of this region for nearly a century. The longstanding alliance between landowners dedicated to the best quail management, and researchers developing and refining management practices, goes back to 1924, when Lewis Thompson, Henry Beadel and many others supported Herbert Stoddard’s quail investigation, followed by the Cooperative Quail Study and finally Tall Timbers and the Albany Game Project!

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and its technical advisory body, the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC), announced the awards during the annual meeting, August 6, 2015, in Galloway, New Jersey.

The Legacy Landscape Award recognizes special landscapes that provide national significance for Northern Bobwhite conservation. Specific criteria must be met for a region to be designated as a Legacy Landscape which includes:

  • An extensive area of contiguous habitat that currently supports and has historically maintained high densities of wild northern bobwhites (in the region more than 600,000 acres of habitat are managed across more than 200 properties);
  • A tradition of implementing land use practices that promote quail habitat conservation (this is the only region in the Southeast with a dedicated, consistent use of prescribed fire in a natural frequency for over 100 years);
  • A community of landowners, hunters, lessees, and other stakeholders demonstrating strong support for quail and/or quail research over many years (the region’s community provides financial support as well as access to land for study);
  • A community with a deep appreciation of other species of high-priority conservation concern and they support these additional species by maintaining large expanses of habitat for quail (over 150,000 acres of the region are perpetually protected through conservation easements and other means).

Tall Timbers and Georgia Wildlife Resources Division receive Group Achievement Award

Theron Terhune and Reggie Thackson with Group Achievement AwardThe National Bobwhite Technical Committee Group Achievement Award was presented to Tall Timbers and Georgia Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) for collaborative efforts in developing and successfully implementing the WRD Northern Bobwhite Quail Translocation Policy in focal areas of southwest Georgia and northern Florida.

“Bobwhites have declined by about 90% in Georgia since 1966, due primarily to changes in land use,” said Reggie Thackston, WRD Bobwhite Project Leader. “This policy provides a science-based approach to expedite the recovery of bobwhite populations following habitat restoration.”

Dr. Theron Terhune, whose research with TTRS provided the scientific basis for the policy, emphasized, “Suitable habit is the most important step to restoration success and must first be established before a translocation occurs.”

Development of the current translocation policy guidelines began in 1997, initiated by WRD with input from Tall Timbers Research Station (TTRS) based on research. The policy standards permit the translocation of wild bobwhites from private land with high density populations to lands with newly developed high quality habitat (1,500+ acres) and ongoing management that have low density bobwhite populations. The policy was finalized in 2006, and since that time Georgia has participated in the movement of 1,275 birds to five properties. Through this policy and the efforts of TTRS and working with dedicated private landowners, bobwhites have been restored across 18,700 acres. In addition to Georgia acres restore, more than 50,000 acres have been restored to wild bobwhites using translocation.

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