Economic and Conservation Value of Quail Hunting – RGVProud
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Hunting has a stunning $4.6 billion economic impact on the Texas economy, and the best place in the world to hunt Bobwhite Quail is south Texas. Richard Moore examines the economic and conservation value of Quail hunting.
South Texas is the last great habitat for Bobwhite Quail. The vast ranch lands encompassing approximately 11 million acres in a triangle between Laredo, Victoria and the Rio Grande Valley is the premier quail region in the world.
Dr. Lenny Brennan, Quail Researcher at Texas A&M University Kingsville, “And there is no place else comparable to that in the U.S. or the world. And it is a great resource, a phenomenal resource to have that much habitat on the ground that will grow wild quail.”
Quail populations have declined dramatically nationwide due primarily to habitat loss.
“We have seen a 90 plus percent population decline throughout most of their geographic range.”
While rapid population growth and consequent development has also destroyed quail range throughout the Rio Grande Valley, the ranchlands to the north and west continue to provide vital habitat for quail and other wildlife.
“Quail habitat can make up the backbone of habitat and landscape for scores of other species.”
With an annual economic impact exceeding 4.6 billion hunting is big business in Texas, and quail hunting which wraps up the end of this month is a major contributor.
More than 95% of the remaining wildlands in deep south Texas are in the hands of private landowners and hunting revenues are increasingly what pays the bills.
“Hunting leases often bring in three times what cattle will yield, and the hunting leases are drought proof, cows are not.”
Wildlife is a renewable resource and on well-managed properties hunting quail, deer, turkey, and other game animals provides the necessary income for ranches to remain intact, and that is vital for all wildlife from Ocelots to Green Jays.