Bobwhite Quail Research Paper

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Introduction Northern Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus) are one of the most influential and important game animals in America. Their popularity has been the driving force behind conservation, research, and even local economic prosperity. The hunting associated with these birds has become a “southern tradition” since these hunts are typically social events. Currently the bobwhite quail is undergoing a long term population decline which has prompted even more conservation efforts and research. Bobwhite quail are extremely sensitive to habitat quality which has recently been used to promote conservation based land management practices. This not only benefits the bobwhite but other less sensitive animals found within its range. Conservation …show more content…

In some southern states there are other common names for these quail such as burn birds or running birds. The name burn birds stems from bobwhite quail utilizing habitat provided after an area has been burned (7), and they are referred to as running birds since this is their main mode of locomotion. Bobwhite have the largest range among Colinus, and is found throughout Mexico and most of the Midwest and Eastern United States (1, 15). With this wide range around 24 different subspecies of bobwhite quail have been suggested, but only 19 are generally acknowledged. These subspecies are based upon different color morphologies (15). For example the subspecies Colinus virginianus ridgwayi is commonly called the masked bobwhite because males have a fully black face …show more content…

This means that instead of regional variations the genetic composition of these quail is extremely similar throughout its range with very little nucleotide diversity. This is believed to either be from the lack of overall genetic research of these quail throughout their extensive range, or that their dispersal is more complicated than commonly believed (15). The current assumption is that bobwhite quail are generally sedentary due to their poor flight capabilities and large size, with home ranges of around 16ha (4), but there have been documented dispersals of individuals over 100km (15). Another proposed explanation for this is the popularity of releasing captive birds. The number of bobwhite quail released each year in unknown because private landowners do not have to officially report them. Along with this current state and federal wildlife conservation agencies are implanting translocations of bobwhite quail into areas they have historically inhabited or with low numbers (11). These acts have the potential to lower genetic diversity between areas

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