ABILENE – Organizers are urging quail enthusiasts to make plans to attend the Statewide Quail Symposium to be conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on September 16-18. Plans are being finalized for the symposium, which will open with a tour of the Trail Ranch at Albany beginning at 1 p.m. Sept. 16. The remainder of the symposium will take place at the MCM Elegante Hotel in Abilene.
“The last time we convened a statewide quail symposium was in 1999 in Abilene,” said Dr. Dale Rollins, a symposium planner. Rollins is AgriLife Extension’s statewide coordinator for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative at San Angelo and director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch at Roby.
“Since then we’ve experienced record lows of bobwhites, scaled or blue quail and consequently, the number of quail hunters,” he said. “We hope we turned the corner last year and we likewise hope to build on that rebound nicely this summer.”
Rollins said the symposium will bring together leading professionals and experts in quail management, research and conservation from around the state.
“These speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, including current land managers, research scientists and state agency professionals who will present a wide range of currently relevant and popular topics,” he said.
The Sept. 16 Trail Ranch tour presentations will include talks on quail management, economics, the Texas Quail Index, defining usable space for quail and brush sculpting.
The Sept. 17 session slated for 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. will feature talks on the state of quail hunting in Texas, weather and quail, translocating wild quail for re-establishment and eyeworms, plus debates on pen-reared quail and cow and quail coexistence.
The Sept. 18 session from 8-11:15 a.m. will feature talks on the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, Quail-Tech, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Institute, Borderlands Research Institute and plans for the next biennium.
Individual preregistration is $50 by Sept. 7 and $75 thereafter. Individual student preregistration is $20 by Sept. 7 and $50 thereafter.
Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units in the general category will be offered.
For the latest information on the agenda, registration, lodging and more go to, www.statewidequailsymposium.com .
The Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative coordinated by Rollins is a $2 million legislatively funded AgriLife Extension statewide initiative supported by Upland Game Bird Stamp revenue. Rollins said those dollars support research projects and AgriLife Extension educational activities including the Statewide Quail Symposium, which represents the culmination of those funds.