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Volunteers Help the Masked Bobwhite Quail
Southwest Region, March 19, 2009
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From January and into the spring, several volunteer groups are benefiting the endangered masked bobwhite quail by refurbishing large outdoor flight pens. Buenos Aires NWR was established with a prime objective of saving the masked bobwhite from extinction. These birds are bred in captivity at the refuge. Then the chicks are placed in large, vegetated flight pens,  where they can learn to forage in semi-natural conditions. Predators have been a chronic problem, with incursions by snakes and also by cotton rats and pack rats, which consume quail feed and prey upon the birds. Several groups have worked tirelessly to completely remove the old netting, replace it with new netting and wire, dig trenches for irrigation pipe and for sinking wire walls below ground, and install and embed the new wire.  One 100 ft. x 100 ft. pen (subdivided into 5) is now complete.  Buenos Aires' seasonal volunteers made this the priority project for the 08-09 season, dedicating many work days as a group project in this effort.  Twelve students from Prescott College donated a day on Feburary 22.  On March 11, 20 students from City High School in Tucson began the trenching for the second complex of pens, another 100 x 100 ft. enclosure.  This project provides a way for citizen volunteers to help directly with efforts to save an endangered species.


Contact Info: Bonnie Swarbrick, (520) 823-4251 x 108, bonnie_swarbrick@fws.gov



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