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#06-12 January 16, 2006

Wild quail management seminars set March 9-11

Bobwhite quail populations in South Carolina and the Southeast have been declining steadily over the past 50 years due to land use change and reduction in suitable habitat. The 19th Annual Wild Quail Management Seminars, sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the S.C. State Committee of Quail Unlimited, are designed to instruct landowners and land managers in the proper techniques of creating habitat that will support native populations of bobwhite quail.

Two seminars will be conducted over a three-day period, March 9-11, at the Webb Wildlife Center in Hampton County. The registration fee is $75 and includes meals, overnight accommodations and seminar materials. Space is limited, so register early to reserve a slot in one of the two sessions. For more information write: Quail Management Seminars, DNR, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, call the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Small Game Project in Columbia at (803) 734-4306, or e-mail barnesj@dnr.sc.gov.

"Properties that consistently carry medium- to high-density wild quail populations are actively managed to provide quail with all the habitat components necessary throughout the year," said Judy Barnes, DNR small game biologist. "These seminars are designed to improve quail habitat management skills, and the information is presented so that anyone with an interest can implement these practices on their property."

Field demonstrations and classroom instruction will focus on habitat practices including firebreak establishment, prescribed burning, timber management, brush control, discing for natural foods and supplemental food patch plantings. Presentations will be given on wild quail natural history, biology, diseases and parasites, predation and other factors that may be contributing to the population decline. An update on current research will also be presented. Speakers will include wildlife and forestry professionals from state and federal agencies.

About 700 people have attended the seminar since its inception in 1987. These sportsmen and sportswomen have positively affected thousands of acres across South Carolina by applying basic techniques to improve habitat on their lands.

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