QF On the Landscape in New Mexico
By Casey Cardinal, NMG & F Upland Bird Biologist
The Enchanted Quail Forever chapter in New Mexico assisted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Magdalena Ranger District in maintaining habitat for wildlife around a quail guzzler. Over two work days, crew members removed old non-functional fence and constructed a new 4-wire T-post fence. The exclusion area surrounding the guzzler is approximately three acres.
Creating exclusion areas helps maintain natural cover in quail habitat by protecting plant species from trampling and grazing by cattle. These protected areas can be used by quail for a variety of life cycle activities including loafing, feeding, and nesting. The guzzler can also be used as an additional water source, on top of the water that quail acquire through natural sources (such as dew, springs, ephemeral puddles/ponds) and metabolic breakdown of food.
The Magdalena Ranger District of the USFWS could potentially hold Gambel’s quail, scaled quail, and Montezuma quail. It is an exciting area to conduct habitat work, because there are locations where you might be in for a species surprise when you flush a covey. Enchanted Quail Forever is lucky to have great partners at the USFWS who make work projects possible, and who are excited to help improve quail habitat in the state!
This story originally appeared in the 2023 Winter Issue of the Quail Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to be the first to read more great upland content like this, become a Quail Forever member today!