With quail season in full swing, experts are asking hunters to be on the lookout for sick or dead wild quail to help them solve a nagging mystery.
“We’re asking hunters to let us know of any strange-acting quail or, better yet, of any carcasses they come across or sick birds they’ve found,” said Dr. Dale Rollins, Texas AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist at San Angelo.
Rollins, who is also the director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch near Roby, said he and his team want the birds as they may offer clues to the troubling critical decline in the Texas’ quail population over the past few years.
The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch study led by Rollins is called Operation Idiopathic Decline. It’s a comprehensive study of quail diseases and parasites that may be factors involved in the birds’ decline.