Northern Bobwhites Reintroduced in West Virginia


The Northern Bobwhite has the unlikely distinction of being one of the vital studied species of chicken on the planet. This species of sport chicken is sometimes called a “bobwhite quail” or just as quail. Due to its standing as a extremely popular sport chicken, human interactions with bobwhites in addition to bobwhite inhabitants tendencies have been the topic of scrutiny for many years. For the reason that Seventies, nonetheless, this chicken has skilled a pointy decline which has brought about it to largely disappear from habitats the place it had as soon as been remarkably widespread.

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West Virginia, one such habitat the place the bobwhite was as soon as plentiful however isn’t any largely absent, is attempting to repair this. West Virginia’s governor, Jim Justice, has publicly lamented the disappearance of the bobwhite whose calls he fondly remembers listening to all through his youth.

Now, in 2022, Governor Justice’s administration is attempting to deliver again the Northern Bobwhite which as soon as thrived within the mountainous state of West Virginia. In keeping with the web site of the workplace of the governor:

“By means of the Governor’s Quail Stocking Initiative, the West Virginia Division of Pure Sources (DNR) will inventory over 20,000 birds at Wildlife Administration Areas (WMA) throughout the state. Thus far, the DNR has already stocked over 12,000 Bobwhite Quail, and can proceed stocking from August via October, climate and habitat circumstances allowing.”

Picture taken by Wikimedia Commons person BS Thurner Hof and shared beneath Inventive Commons 3.0 license.

At present, the captivity-raised bobwhites are being launched in seven separate places with the hope that the birds will set up a breeding inhabitants which could efficiently repopulate the area. Older West Virginia residents might someday recapture the whistling name which was the backdrop of many of those landscapes earlier than the birds disappeared.

This system, which is claimed to value not more than 5 {dollars} per chicken, is being obtained properly publicly by a inhabitants that appears excited to provide the bobwhite an enthusiastic “welcome residence.”

Sadly, these reintroduced bobwhites do face a lot of the identical perils, if no more, as these which brought about their predecessors to say no so sharply. The shrubby landscapes which bobwhites must thrive have been disappearing for many years as land administration practices rid the panorama of weeds and thickets. Balancing conventional land administration practices with creating an surroundings that’s hospitable sufficient to deal with this new inhabitants of bobwhites shall be West Virginia’s subsequent problem.

With the intention to observe the success of their efforts, conservation employees have fitted a number of the newly launched bobwhites with transmitter which is able to observe their actions, monitor their survival charges, and provides conservationists perception into their behaviors. On prime of this, cameras have been mounted within the areas the place the bobwhites have been launched, within the hopes that their progress may be watched and reported.

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