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Quail Populations Of The South Essay

895 words - 4 pages

In Jim Casada's article about the decline of quail four major points are covered. Explaining what the quail population was like in the South makes the first point. The author talks about how two generations ago quail were located all over the South. He describes how, "every pea field corner and overgrown fence row, every sweep of broom sedge and span of longleaf pines was home to one or more coveys." (p44) The author then tells of how there was a decline in quail population. He says that hunting of quail was an exercise in futility. In this section of the article you are given a good look at what the quail population was like years ago and what it is like today after the quails decline. The second point of the article describes what the circumstances were that caused the quail population to decline. The first reason for the decline in quail is the increase in predators. Raccoons, opossums, skunks, coyotes, and foxes are all predators of the quail. During the period of time that the quail populations were high none of these predators had high populations. These predators were either hunted or trapped by most farmers for their fur or because they were a nuance to farmers. The author believes that the greatest threat to the quail is predation by raptors. Hawks use to be actively hunted or killed because they were a threat to farmer's chickens. Now raptors are under Federal protection, which has greatly increased their numbers. This is what the author believes has wreaked havoc on the quail population. Raptors are either killing quail or keeping coveys broken up by harassing the birds. Another circumstance for the quail's decline is the decreasing numbers of tenant farmers. Most of these farmers enjoyed hunting quail and as discussed earlier controlled the predator population. These farmers would leave the edges of fields uncut, which provided food and cover for the quail. As the numbers of farmers declined so did the quail population. The last circumstance would be the logging industry. After land was cleared cut pines were replanted. In the early years they provided a good habitat, but later in life they are not. The pines are usually planted to closely together and as they grow not much small undergrowth is allowed to grow. This low undergrowth is perfect habitat for quail. The third point of the article tells how to solve the problem of declining...

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