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Effort will concentrate on two” focal areas” in eastern Kansas
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is introducing a new five-year initiative — the Kansas Quail Initiative — aimed at improving habitat conditions for bobwhite quail, an upland species that has declined throughout much of its range. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Kansas State Chapter was the first conservation group to provide financial support for this important conservation effort, committing $12,500. The NWTF also will help deliver and promote the program by helping locate interested landowners and assisting with habitat improvements.
The NWTF has 33 chapters in Kansas with more 2,800 members. More than $885,715 has been raised and spent by Kansas chapters on projects within the state.
"It was a no-brainer for the Kansas State Chapter to step up and become the first conservation organization to support the Quail Initiative," said Todd Adolph, NWTF Kansas State Chapter president. "We have a positive working relationship with KDWPT, and I expect this initiative will be a big success."
The Kansas Quail Initiative aims to increase quail populations by 50 percent in five years within “focal areas.” A northern focal area includes portions of Lyon, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties, and a southern focal area includes parts of Neosho and Labette counties.
KDWPT biologists identified these regions as areas with high restoration potential, and they both contain sizable amounts of public land that can be used for core habitat improvements.
"The fact that the NWTF has committed to this initiative shows that we’re not just about turkeys, and that our volunteers understand the urgency to conserve habitat for quail" said Jared McJunkin, NWTF conservation field western region supervisor.
For private landowners in the focal areas, this initiative will increase available cost-share assistance to 100 percent of the estimated costs of implementing quail-friendly practices on their property. KDWPT is committed to spending as much as $100,000 per year on private land habitat improvements in the focal areas for each of the five years of this initiative.
KDWPT also will emphasize the voluntary public access and habitat improvement program in these focal areas to promote enrollment in continuous Conservation Reserve Program practices.
To become an NWTF member, or for more information about the NWTF, go online to www.nwtf.org or phone (800) THE-NWTF.