Ecology and Management of Quail in Australia is the first academic study of this game bird as it exists in Australia. Written by Australian wildlife biologist Dr Graham Hall and published in collaboration with the SSAA, the book examines Australia’s three quail species - brown, stubble and king - and their introduction to and history in this country. Also covered are the habitats and current populations of these species, practices for managing them, and the future of quail research and hunting in Australia.
The author, Dr Graham Hall, has more than 30 years experience in the management of domestic animals and other wildlife. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of Queensland, where he jointly developed the first-ever tertiary course on game management in Australia, and he regularly consults on a wide range of wildlife-related topics.
SSAA supports Australia’s first quail research book
When one thinks of quail, one may conjure up images of a strange little brown ground-dwelling bird. For those who haven’t participated in quail hunting, thoughts may extend to the little bird’s occasional presence on a mixed grill menu. But for dedicated game bird hunters, the thought of locating and hunting a flock of fast-flushing quail is enough to get the heart racing. Either way, it would be more than fair to state that quail are among the many Australian native species that we just don’t know that much about.
In efforts to bridge this gap, the SSAA has been working over the past few years with well-respected Australian wildlife biologist Dr Graham Hall. The publication of his Ecology and Management of Quail in Australia in October 2013 is the successful culmination of this research and collaboration.
The groundbreaking publication delves into the specifics of the three quail species found in Australia: brown, stubble and king. Two of these species have a ‘game’ status, which allows them to be hunted in some states, making the research relevant and significant to game bird hunters around the country.
Author Graham Hall has more than 30 years’ experience in the natural resource management sector. He believes work such as this quail book is an essential component to draw attention to the species to ensure proper management can be achieved to aid its long-term survival and sustainability.
“This is the first time a book on quail in Australia has been published,” Graham said. “The main reason I wrote this book was to increase interest in these fascinating little birds.”
He said the data available on quail in Australia could be seen as limited and out of date. For example, in the past 100 years, only 20 scientific publications have been published on Australian quail. In contrast, more than 10,000 publications have been published on the North American bobwhite quail. New and relevant information would be beneficial to ensure hunters could continue to sustainably hunt quail as game in this country.
The SSAA has been working with Graham since 2010 to study samples from stubble quail taken from the wild during South Australian and Victorian open seasons. Through this work, differences in population characteristics across three years have been noted, and new dimensions and research questions have been added to the SSAA’s Quail Research Program.
These formative steps, according to Graham, are the building blocks for further study into population movements and ecology, all of which will provide the necessary information for quail management. Ecology and Management of Quail in Australia is a publication supported by the SSAA because better knowledge and management of quail will benefit SSAA members and other hunters to help continue sustainably harvesting this resource.
SSAA’s Special Project Officer in Hunting Matthew Godson said our close relationship with Graham has assisted the SSAA in becoming a partner in Australian-first quail research.
“It is important that the SSAA is at the forefront of game bird research, and this brings credibility to our organisation when discussing the management and harvesting of these game birds,” Matthew said.