Quail restoration program launched in South Carolina as wild quail populations plummet across the southeast United States

Quail restoration efforts in South Carolina improved exponentially recently when the 28 partners who make up the South Carolina Quail Council agreed to work together to help bring back the “Prince of Gamebirds.”

Quail restoration is one of the greatest conservation challenges we have ever faced because of the large-scale changes in land use that have rendered many thousands of acres unsuitable, or at least only marginally suitable for these birds,” said South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Interim Director Robert Boyles.

Photo of female quail courtesy of SCDNR.

There are 15 to 20 or more other species of birds with the same population declines as quail, and pollinators like butterflies and bees are being impacted by loss of this type habitat as well. We are very grateful to all of the partners for recognizing the scope of the task at hand and being willing to help,” Boyles explained.

The South Carolina Quail Council is a multi-organizational task force composed of the leaders of 28 state and federal agencies, non-governmental conservation organizations and private landowners.

It’s chaired by the SCDNR director and serves to provide advocacy for habitat restoration for bobwhite quail and other wildlife species with similar habitat requirements, through the South Carolina Bobwhite Initiative.

The Quail Council helps coordinate agency and organization efforts.

The final signatures have been obtained on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the partners that make up the South Carolina Quail Council.

Every partner involved in the Quail Council has a unique set of skills or resources to contribute to restoration of quail in South Carolina,” added Boyles.

While this MOA does not bind any of the partners to anything specific, it does affirm the willingness of all involved to pull together to address the declining trend in bobwhites and similar species,” he concluded.

The South Carolina Bobwhite Initiative is part of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, the 25-state unified strategy for restoring wild quail.

Featured photo of male quail by Sean Echelbarger from Pixabay.

That strategy can be explored at these websites: www.scbobwhites.org and www.bringbackbobwhites.org.

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