Georgia NRCS and DNR Announce Bobwhite Quail Pilot Project

The Georgia USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the GA Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) announce the availability of funding and technical assistance for landowners  to enhance habitat for bobwhite quail and other priority wildlife species. Through a combination of the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the WRD Bobwhite Quail Initiative (BQI), funding and technical assistance are being offered to eligible landowners across 67 counties (see map).

Georgia’s quail population has declined by more than 90% since the early 1960s primarily due to loss of quality early succession habitat. Habitat restoration for bobwhites benefits certain songbirds, pollinators & other wildlife, improves water quality, reduces soil erosion, & can economically enhance local communities by stimulating quail hunting & wildlife viewing.

Landowners enrolled in a 2016 EQIP contract with practices to enhance pine savanna and early succession habitat will have the opportunity through BQI to apply for additional payments of up to 30% for specified practices. Eligible BQI program applicants will be ranked and selected on a competitive basis.

  • Special emphasis will be placed on properties within or near BQI focal landscapes
  • Priority EQIP practices for bonus BQI payments will include thinning, prescribe burning, brush management and field borders and other fallowed areas
  • BQI contracts will be for 2 years.

For more information on how to apply for additional payments for bobwhite quail and pine savanna management practices and/or technical guidance on integrating bobwhite management with agriculture and forestland contact a BQI or cooperative Biologist at one of the following numbers:

  • BQI East (706) 554-3745; BQI Central (478)296-6176; BQI Southwest (229) 420-1212;
  • WRD NRCS Cooperative Biologists: Northwest (678)544-2335; Northeast/ coast (470)230-7769; Southwest (229)308-8561; Southeast/coast (912)381-2278;

BQI is funded through the sales of the “BQI Support Wildlife” Auto License Plate.

Article by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.