Amarillo Wildfires Four Years Later

This is Passport to Texas

In 2006, a massive wildfire swept through Amarillo, covering over 900,000 acres of land.

Despite concerns of habitat loss, Texas Tech University researchers recently discovered that quail populations have rebounded quite well.

Basically what we found was in two years post fire, we had normal quail movement, normal nesting success and normal survival of hens.

Head researcher Dr. Brad Dabbert says the research shows biologists need to keep monitoring quail, but they don’t need to worry too much.

It helps us to understand that if wildfires do occur and are large scale that we don’t necessarily need to panic about long-term reductions in populations.

He says, in the some areas that have a lot of vegetation, controlled wildfires can create good quail habitat.

Quail are considered to like areas that do have some bare ground below the canopy of plants. They like the weeds that are encouraged by fire at the right time of year.

And controlled fires can also lessen the possibility of a wildfire. Still, wildfires can be hard to predict. Like much of nature, we’re constantly learning how to live with and manage them while keeping people and wildlife safe and sound.

That’s our show… we had research and writing help from Gretchen Mahan…the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program supports our series… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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