Scott County: First to meet NBCI goals
Groups Featured: Scott County landowners, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Missouri Department of Conservation and the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District. The USDA’s Conservation Security Program made financial support possible for the planting efforts.
Group Mission: To bring back northern bobwhite quail to Scott County through the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI).
Scott County landowners, with support from state and federal conservation and agriculture programs, set out to restore 4,500 acres of quail habitat in 2002—the goal set by the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative. In 2007, they became the first team in the country to meet, and then surpass, their NBCI objectives. More than 7,000 acres of suitable habitat have been established.
Quail populations have responded to this real estate boom. Conservation Department surveys indicate the highest quail sightings in decades. Whereas hunters reported seeing an average of five coveys per 8-hour hunting day between 1940 and 1960, eight coveys per day were recorded during the 2007–08 season. Improving habitat is key to restoring quail and other grassland species. This can be accomplished through establishing native grass field borders, discing, burning, brushpile building, edge feathering, spraying and planting shrubs.
Celebrate National Pollinator Week June 22–28.
Seventy-five percent of plants grown worldwide for food, beverages, fibers, condiments, spices and medicines are pollinated by animals, according to the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. Without the services of pollinators, which include flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, small mammals and, of course, bees, many agricultural products would be reduced in quantity and quality, or be unavailable. Wildlife also depends on pollinators to maintain plant life for food and habitat.
Populations of these small but important workers are currently facing declines due to disease, competition from exotic species, habitat loss and other factors.
National Pollinator Week, officially declared by the U.S. Senate (S. Res. 580) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2007, aims to recognize these valuable living resources, as well as encourage pollinator-friendly conservation practices.
Celebrate and support pollinators in your area June 22–28, and throughout the year, by using native plants for landscaping and creating butterfly or “pollinator gardens,” by using pesticides responsibly and by creating and maintaining green space. Visit Grow Native! and the Pollinator Partnership online for more ideas and resources.