Farmers across South Australia are being encouraged to offer their property as a test site in an Australian-first study into stubble quail.
The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) is spearheading the unique scientific research and has been granted special permission by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to take quail from the wild all year round.
The project is investigating the differences in the age structures and sex ratios of stubble quail across South Australia and will better equip authorities to make decisions about managing quail populations into the future.
Research Project Coordinator Matthew Godson said that as no recent population data existed for authorities on which to base their quail hunting seasons, the longevity of both the species and hunting of the species in Australia could not be guaranteed.
He said this was a concern, as decisions were being made for quail hunting seasons using unrelated information, which did not take into account the ways in which quail breed and disperse within South Australia.
Matthew said he was seeking properties that are primarily devoted to cropping, as this is the environment preferred by stubble quail. This includes regions such as the Yorke Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula, Murraylands and Lower South East regions.
“The stubble quail taken will provide data on the age and reproductive condition of local populations across different times throughout the year,” he said.
“The project will also provide an opportunity to collect biological material for DNA and stable isotope analysis to further improve our knowledge of these small but tasty game birds.”
If you are interested in your property being considered as a test site in this project, please contact Matthew Godson.