UNT-Quail implements research solutions and identifies factors that contribute to the quail decline. Listed below are a few of the UNT-Quail projects.
The North Texas Quail Corridor Initiative is an effort to establish quail corridors in Texas. UNT-Quail is partnering with North Texas ranches, public lands, and other partners to implement quail research solutions, monitor populations of quail and other wildlife, evaluate vector species, implement healthy grazing regimes, and determine causal factors for declining quail populations on a case-by-case basis. Many research projects will be conducted on these ranches to determine ways to best combat quail threats.
Dr. Reyna continues to look at the effects of heat stress on northern bobwhites. His research has been the first to determine the lethal temperatures for northern bobwhite embryos, the first to discover that fluctuating heat has much different effects than constant temperatures of the same magnitude, and the first to determine that critical windows of development exist in which the bobwhite embryo is more susceptible to heat stress. Further research seeks to understand the neuroendocrinological response of bobwhites to heat stress and how reproductive efforts are regulated by physiological signals. Specificall looking at gonad recrudescents in drought condtions. Gonads Go Quail! No nads, No Quail!
Cattle operations are typically a large part of Texas land ownership. Accordingly, UNT-Quail is partnering with beef producers to evaluate the utility of using cattle as a tool for land management, rangeland health, and improved water quality. Without sacrificing ranching income, healthy rangelands with extensive biodiversity can be established benefiting beef, bobwhites, and other wildlife. UNT-Quail will be monitoring water quality, soil and rangeland biodiversity, and habitat quality in grazed lands.
The LBJ National Grasslands is a national treasure of protected grasslands; home to many wildlife species, including quail. UNT-Quail is working with the U.S. Forest Service and the Valley View Field Trial Association to restore and monitor areas for bobwhite quail and other upland species in hopes of creating a permanent National field trial area for bird dogs of the great state of Texas. Additionally, UNT-Quail will be monitoring the implications of releasing quail.
UNT-Quail Director, Dr. Kelly Reyna is participating in Texas' largest disease study, "Operation Idiopathic Decline". The goal of the project is to determine the effect of disease and other parasites on quail populations within the Rolling Plains of Texas. Dr. Reyna is teaming with Dr. Markus Peterson to determine the relationship of climate, disease, and bobwhite populations.