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A Quest to Quell the Quail Decline

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

"Everything the quail needs to survive is gone," said Bill Palmer pointing at an area of land in Tallahassee.

Palmer is a quail hunting researcher and enthusiast.

"There's nothing like walking in on a covey rise where 20 of the most explosive birds, whooh, up and gone."

But quail hunters aren't hunting as much these days because their target is disappearing.

"There's less prescribed burns, there's more timber and less agriculture, and those work together to cause Bob White population decline nationwide," said Palmer.

But hope is on the horizon. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is backing an initiative to preserve the bird's habitat.

It's the way we've used our land to meet growing population demand and it’s not compatible with providing good habitat for quail," said Nick Wiley, who works for the hunting division of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"We're at a time in history where if we don't do something about it we're gonna lose this species across most of Florida."

It’s a species and a sport that brings money and wildlife to Florida. FWC says you can help with the initiative by donating money or offering land for preservation.


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