A new program to help restore Texas bobwhite quail took flight last month, based on applying a novel adaptation of “Trap, Tag, and Transport” to quail.
From Farm Progress magazine:
In March, the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch began an effort I’ve wanted to do for at least 10 years (i.e., trap and move wild quail into recently depopulated areas).
Dubbed “Operation Transfusion,” this new effort seeks to move 300 wild bob whites annually for three years onto a ranch in Stephens County, Texas. That’s right, Stephens County, once the epicenter of bobwhite hunting in the Rolling Plains. But since about 2007, they’ve shot more bucks than bobwhites there.
But we need research to evaluate, and improve, the transfusion process. Local trap-relocations seem to work well in Georgia. They’ve adopted a state policy that permits such translocations, with the proper permits. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has similar permits (i.e., TTT, or Trap, Tag and Transport) on the book, but none has ever been issued for quail. Many have been issued for deer, some for turkeys, but none for quail.
A recent trap-translocation effort in southeast Texas was deemed a failure, presumably because the release site was a “fragmented” landscape. Would such translocation work in the Rolling Plains where we still have large expanses of hab- itable quail range? In my opinion, we’re overdue in trying. –Dale Rollins