By Don McKenzie, NBCI Director National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Learning from mistakes of the past can improve the future; failing to learn and adapt is simply irresponsible and a guarantee of future failures. The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) Coordinated Implementation Program (CIP) combines lessons from the past with the science of today to create the largest and best network of bobwhite restoration demonstrations in history.
The CIP is more than just a focal area program; it may well be the gateway to the future of bobwhite restoration.
Ultimately, the CIP is envisioned as the springboard toward the NBCI vision of widespread huntable wild quail populations that can lure young and old alike outdoors with bird dogs to enjoy time-honored outdoor traditions.https://bringbackbobwhites.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/bobwhitequail.mp3
Typical bobwhite management of the past—opportunistically adding undocumented small patches of habitat scattered haphazardly across vast landscapes—may boost bird numbers on a field or site, but the effects were usually unmeasurable at any larger scale, while overall populations continued declining. To improve on that approach, managers began trying to concentrate habitat efforts and improvements into defined focal areas to restore and document a critical mass of habitat at a scale sufficient to produce measurable population-level results.
Yet, without a strategic vision and clear guidance in place, many focal area approaches have suffered shortcomings, such as:
- focal areas too small to affect or sustain a population, or too big to manage in the near term;
- poor landscape context, with low chance of successful management;
- inadequate agency leadership, commitment, or concentration of resources;
- no population goals, habitat objectives, or timelines;
- no consistent, scientifically valid monitoring;
- unrealistic expectations for “success;”
- weak coordination of partner support and landowner participation;