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Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas State University, and Arkansas Tech University Host Quail Focal Area Field Day

Bradley Carner and Steven Fowler (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission), Dr. Jim Bednarz (Arkansas State University), and Dr. Chris Kellner (Arkansas Tech University) hosted a USDA-NRCS/MSU Bobwhite Restoration Project Field Day on September 5, 2007. The “Quail Focal Area Field Day” featured a morning educational session held at the pavilion at Southfork Resort in Saddle, AR and included a scheduled afternoon field tour of three properties within the Fulton County Quail Focal Area. Unfortunately the afternoon field tour was cancelled due to some much needed rain showers. However, the field day was still an overwhelming success with a great mix of landowners and natural resource professionals in attendance. The main focus of the field day was to educate landowners and natural resource professionals about the research occurring in Quail Focal Areas in northern Arkansas, and to present results from the collaborative Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas State University, and Arkansas Tech University research project, which is partially funded by the USDA-NRCS/MSU Bobwhite Restoration Project. This collaborative effort includes research within the Fulton County and Searcy County Quail Focal Areas in northern Arkansas. Researchers are evaluating habitat use and nesting success of northern bobwhite and density and abundance of all grassland birds on managed and unmanaged sites within the Fulton and Searcy County focal areas. Presentations during the morning session included an introduction to bobwhite basics and quail focal areas, presentations of results from the quail and songbird research conducted by Arkansas State University and a presentation of results from the quail research conducted by Arkansas Tech University in Fulton and Searcy counties. Following the morning session, participants gathered under the pavilion for a delicious catfish lunch provided by Fred’s Fish House restaurant of Mammoth Spring, AR. After lunch, in lieu of the field tour, attendees participated in a question and answer session covering many topics including the use of prescribed fire and the effects of grazing on bobwhite populations. The day ended with a landowner’s perspective, where a local landowner shared his experiences with enrolling his land in conservation practices. There were 68 natural resource professionals and private landowners in attendance from 3 states. Participants included 10 individuals from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 9 from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 4 from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, 3 from the Fulton County Conservation District, 1 from the Searcy County Conservation District, 1 from the Missouri Department of Conservation, 31 private landowners and producers from Fulton, Searcy and Independence Counties, 2 from Arkansas State University, 2 from Arkansas Tech University, 1 from Mississippi State University, 2 from The Nature Conservancy and 1 from Quail Unlimited.

Download the Field Day agenda here.

For more information, contact:

Steven Fowler
Project Coordinator
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
2 Natural Resource Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205
Office: (501) 978-7318
Email: scfowler@agfc.state.ar.us

The Crowd

It was a great turnout for the “Quail Focal Area Field Day” in Fulton County, Arkansas. Participants gathered under the pavilion at Southfork Resort in Saddle, AR for presentations by Bobwhite Restoration Project researchers. Natural resource professionals and private landowners were in attendance from 3 states.

Steven Fowler

Steven Fowler (Quail Program Coordinator, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) began the day with an introduction to quail biology and a discussion of the decreasing trend in quail populations in Arkansas.

Ted Zawislak

Ted Zawislak (Private Lands Biologist, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) introduced the concept of “focal areas” to concentrate habitat restoration efforts for quail in Arkansas.

Dr. Jim Bednarz

Dr. Jim Bednarz (Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Arkansas State University) discussed the effects of various conservation programs on grassland songbird densities in Quail Focal Areas in northern Arkansas.

Dick Baxter

Dick Baxter (Graduate Research Assistant, Arkansas State University) discussed the results of the quail research occurring in Fulton County, AR. Research includes examining response of quail populations to federally and state-funded conservation programs in place on private lands in Arkansas.

Kevin Labrum

Kevin Labrum (Graduate Research Assistant, Arkansas Tech University) discussed the effects of various conservation practices on private lands on growth, survival, and home range of quail broods.

Jason Milks

In lieu of a rained-out field tour, Jason Milks (LIP Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy) led an impromptu and very informative question and answer session with landowners and natural resource professionals in attendance.

Gary Mullins

Gary Mullins (Landowner and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) shared his experience with implementing conservation practices on his farm in Fulton County, AR.

Habitat

An example of the type of quality quail habitat that is produced as a result of active management under federally and state funded conservation programs in Fulton County, AR.

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