New Quail Tag, BQI Raises Big Money
Georgia raising and spending funds for quail research and habitat improvement.
A new Bobwhite Quail Initiative (BQI) license tag will be available at tag offices across the state beginning in December, 2003. The new tag depicts a white-tail buck standing in front of a covey of flushing quail.
Proceeds from the sale of the tag are used to pay for the BQI program, a WRD effort to restore quail habitat in 17 south-central Georgia counties.
Since the tagʼs inception, money raised by license sales has completely funded the BQI program.
“License sales pay for the administration of the program as well as the incentive payments to landowners,” said BQI coordinator Reggie Thackston.
“We are seeing positive results for quail and songbirds,” he said. “The BQI program is essential if we are going to try to reverse the decline in quail in that portion of the state. These days, good quail habitat does not occur by accident, like it used to do. It has to be intentionally put there. If you want that done so that we donʼt see the demise of this species which is a part of our wildlife heritage, then we are going to have to put the staff and the money out there to see that it happens.”
Landowners in the 17 participating counties who are enrolled in the program receive cash incentives for land-management practices that benefit quail.
More than 400 fields are enrolled and more than 400 miles of field borders totaling more than 20,000 acres of habitat have been preserved and improved for quail and other wildlife through the BQI effort.
“It is a good program,” said Reggie. “We are heading in the right direction.”
The BQI tag, and the new nongame tag, which depicts a bald eagle and an American flag, will be available from your county tag office in December. The cost of either tag is $20. There are currently more than 126,700 vehicles sporting the BQI tag.
For more information on the BQI, contact the Wildlife Resources Division.
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