Bobwhite quail. Photo by Michael Small, S.C. Department

Landowners can improve quail habitat at seminar hosted by SCDNR

By the S.C Department of Natural Resources 

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) will host its Annual Wild Quail Management Seminar on March 3-4 at the James W. Webb Wildlife Center and Management Area in Hampton County. 

The registration fee is $85 per person and includes meals, overnight accommodations and seminar materials. The deadline to register is Monday, Jan. 31. For more information, contact the SCDNR Small Game Program in Columbia at 803-734-3609, e-mail Patty Castine or visit https://www.dnr.sc.gov/education/quail.html. 

If the seminar is canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, SCDNR will return participants’ checks. 

Field demonstrations and classroom instruction will focus on habitat practices including firebreak establishment, prescribed burning, forest management, brush control, discing for native foods and supplemental food patch plantings. Presentations will be given on wild quail natural history, biology, 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. 

Bobwhite quail populations in the Southeast, including South Carolina, have been declining steadily over the past 60 years due to major land use change and reduction in suitable habitat. The Annual Wild Quail Management Seminar is designed to instruct landowners and land managers in the proper techniques of creating habitat that will support native populations of bobwhite quail. 

“The annual quail management seminar is a great place to meet and learn from many experts in the natural resources field,” SCDNR wildlife biologist and Small Game Project supervisor Michael Hook said in a release. “So if you have any interest in creating better habitat for bobwhite quail and the other assorted species that use these early successional habitats, this seminar is for you.” 

More than 1,500 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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