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Funded Projects

Assessing Bobwhite Response to EQIP Implementation in the Rolling Plains of Texas

The Rolling Plains of northwest Texas are 1 of the last bastions for viable northern bobwhite populations. But even here, bobwhite numbers have decreased an average of 3.4% annually since 1980. The decline of bobwhites in its traditional strongholds (i.e., the southeastern U.S.) has heightened landowner awareness of the plight (hence the value) of quail in Texas. Farm Bill programs like EQIP have been very popular in Texas, and purportedly can improve bobwhite habitat. The Rolling Plains of Texas is one of 3 EQIP areas focused on bobwhite habitat concerns. Texas garnered the largest EQIP allocation of any state in 2004 ($78.6 million). Northern bobwhite is a priority species for EQIP in 58 counties of the Rolling Plains. The most popular EQIP-funded practice in FY 2003 was brush management, which accounted for 26% of the $46.5 million of the EQIP dollars expended. We propose to test the hypothesis that brush management, if done in moderation, enhances bobwhite habitat (and promotes greater quail abundance) in the Rolling Plains. We propose to evaluate bobwhite response to EQIP-sponsored brush management at intervals 2 to 4 years post-implementation. We will also test protocols for an ongoing demonstration effort (Texas Quail Index) that will be useful for NRCS staff to evaluate quail abundance to various land management practices.

Dale Rollins
Texas Cooperative Extension
7887 U.S. Hwy 87 North
San Angelo, TX 76901

Phone: (325) 653-4576

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