GSC's adopt-a-quail project benefits habitat and management program

The Great Swamp Conservancy's "Adopt-a-Quail" program has been established to help fund its continuing efforts to the Bobwhite Quail rearing program for the upcoming year. All proceeds are for the sole purpose of helping in the Conservancy's efforts in implementing an intensive quail habitat and management program.

Previous years efforts have successfully proven that the program is working as the GSC sees more birds from previous years in the habitat area and on the trail system, said Tom Lenweaver, vice president of the GSC.

"These efforts are continually proven in that spottings on the Conservancy's grounds have increased and more and more the plaintive call of the bobwhite rooster is heard on the wildlife trails," he said.

The "Adopt-a-Quail" program is the first-of-its-kind conservation initiative in Central New York to improve quail densities.

"Our quest to restore Bobwhite Quail habitat in Central New York will serve to provide an increase in quail populations, while educating and inspiring a conservation ethic among students and members," Lenweaver said.

Through this and other programs, the Conservancy hopes to provide its members and especially students with hands-on experience with nature and teach them to identify plant and animal species, and through this and other programs the quail will benefit from the improved habitat.

"We've determined that habitat improvements and quail-friendly habitat management that improves quail populations will also benefit most groups of songbirds, including the Eastern Bluebird, the official state bird of New York," Lenweaver said.

Good quail habitat requires a mix of brush and shrubs, bare ground and waist high grasses and weeds.

"We're committed in these goals, and this program will help fund these goals," Lenweaver added.

"We really want people to come by and take a look at what we've been doing here" said Mike Patane, GSC president. "As a rule you're going to lose a majority of your birds, that's the way nature works, especially due to our severe winters. We are, however encouraged by continual reports from people who are seeing quail in and around our focus area, which proves previous year's efforts have been paying off."

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