FORT WORTH – Urban Quail Appreciation Day, March 29, aims to inform North Texans about the value of one of the state’s most popular game birds and what people can do to help reverse declining quail populations, organizers said.
“Quail populations in Texas, especially among the northern bobwhite, have declined significantly in the last 40 years,” said Dr. Dale Rollins,Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist in San Angelo and executive director of Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation.
The appreciation day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth.
“Because they live their lives within roughly 20 city blocks, changes to quail environments can affect them drastically,” Rollins said.
He said the event is designed to inspire habits that stakeholders can implement to protect natural quail environments.
An interactive discussion on Texas quail on site will feature Kirby the Quail, a tamed northern bobwhite, and his handler, Amanda Gobeli, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute associate in Dallas.
“Kirby has toured the state helping to highlight the importance of conserving quail populations,” Gobeli said. “People’s connection to Kirby becomes tangible when they interact with him, and they tend to take a stronger interest in how their behaviors affect quail like Kirby.”
The event will include discussions on quail ecology and management, a guided anatomy lesson, activities to help people “think like a quail” and interactive discussions using Kirby as an example.
The event is held by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Reversing the Quail Decline in Texas initiative and Quail Coalition. Proceeds for the event benefit Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, a wildlife leadership camp for youth, organizers said.