Bobwhite quail populations in South Carolina and the Southeast have been declining steadily over the past 60 years due to major land use change and reduction in suitable habitat.

The 20th Annual Wild Quail Management Seminars, sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina State Committee of Quail Unlimited, are designed to instruct landowners and land managers in the proper techniques of creating habitat that will support native populations of bobwhite quail.

Two seminars will be conducted over a three-day period, March 8-10, in Hampton County at the Webb Wildlife Center, 1282 Webb Avenue, Garnett, South Carolina.

The registration fee is $75 and includes meals, overnight accommodations and seminar materials. Space is limited, so register early to reserve a slot in one of the two sessions.

“Properties that consistently carry medium- to high-density wild quail populations are actively managed to provide quail with all the habitat components necessary throughout the year,” said Judy Barnes, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) small game biologist. “These seminars are designed to improve quail habitat management skills and the information is presented so that anyone with an interest can implement these practices on their property.”

Field demonstrations and classroom instruction will focus on habitat practices including firebreak establishment, prescribed burning, timber management, brush control, disking for natural foods and supplemental food patch plantings.

Presentations will be given on wild quail natural history, biology, diseases and parasites, predation and other factors that may be contributing to the population decline. An update on current research will also be presented. Speakers will include wildlife and forestry professionals from state and federal agencies.

For more information write Quail Management Seminars, DNR, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, S.C. 29202, or call the DNR Small Game Project in Columbia at (803) 734-4306, or e-mail barnesj@dnr.sc.gov.