The online atlas was developed as a collaborative effort of the Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas Initiative and the NRI Geospatial Analysis Team.
“Many Texans consider these birds to be iconic state species and fondly recall hunting them, watching them or just listening to their songs,” Jim Cathey, Ph.D. said.
He said the new atlas provides a wealth of information for anyone looking to learn more about the history of Texas quail and why the conservation of these species is so critical. It is the second in a series of quail story maps, after Habitat Requirements of Texas Quail.
Amanda Gobeli, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service project coordinator with the NRI in College Station, said the new online atlas provides biological background information and historical context for the decline of quail.
“What has happened to quail populations in Texas is intricately linked to the health of its lands and has a significant impact on the ecosystems, finances and culture of the state,” she said. “But it can be difficult to recognize the long-term and regional patterns that impact quail populations unless the data is compiled in one place. We have attempted to give a more comprehensive picture of the quail decline through time and under changing conditions.”
Kevin Skow, Texas A&M AgriLife Research geospatial system coordinator with the NRI in College Station, said one of the challenges of developing the atlas was to find a user-friendly way to convey the volume of information.
Skow said while some of the information in the atlas can be found elsewhere, the new online publication focuses foremost on the challenges identified in the quail decline initiative.
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