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Northern Bobwhite Appears to Continue Recovery

LINCOLN – Results of a survey indicate that northern bobwhite populations appear to be continuing their rebound in Nebraska following the severe winters of 2009-2010 and the severe drought of 2012-2013.

The observed increases of abundance from this summer’s northern bobwhite (quail) whistle count also imply that the population was not further set back by the heavy rains in May and June this year.

In 2015, the average number of male bobwhites heard calling per stop statewide – and in all management zones except the East Central – was higher than in 2014. The statewide and management zone numbers also were higher than the 2010-2014 average.

The whistle counts were conducted June 15-July 10 in each of the six bobwhite management zones (East Central, North Central, Northeast, Republican, Southeast and West Platte). This excludes northwest Nebraska, which is not bobwhite range. The survey does not provide information on bobwhite population size, but it is an index of breeding male abundance.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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