News from the DNR Office of Communications

Safari Club International Donates $4,500 To Study Quail Decline In Maryland

WHS Director Paul Peditto accepting the check from Safari Club International

Annapolis, Md. (June 11, 2010) — The Chesapeake Chapter of Safari Club International (CCSCI) recently donated $4,500 to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help researchers identify the key factors linked to the widespread decline in bobwhite quail numbers in the State.

“We would not have been able to carry out this project in these times of tight budgets without partners such as the Chesapeake Chapter of Safari Club International,” said Bob Long, DNR’s Upland Game Bird Biologist. “The grant we received from them allowed us to purchase the specialized equipment we needed to study this remarkable game bird.”

The bobwhite quail, once an abundant and popular game bird in Maryland, has declined more than 95 percent throughout the Mid-Atlantic region over the past few decades. Although research elsewhere in the country has highlighted habitat loss as the overarching problem, quail ecology in Maryland has not been studied extensively enough to determine the cause of declines in local populations.

In October 2009, DNR initiated a research project in cooperation with the Chester River Field Research Center in Chestertown, Md. and the Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, Fla. The research is focused on gathering important information regarding the survival, reproduction and habitat use of quail on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The funding from CCSCI was used to support this project through the purchase of 25 radio transmitters used by researchers to track the daily movements of quail in relation to key habitat features.


   June 11, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov