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Bobwhite Quail Research In The News

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The Wildlife Toxicology Lab’s new members were recently trained by Cassie so they can trap and release wild Northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) in the Rolling Plains of West Texas! We train all new field members to navigate the area, set up traps, process any trapped quail, and release the quail unharmed. Shannon and Maya are eager to get rolling with their field and lab work so be prepared to see them more often at www.facebook.com/WTLbobwhite/ and www.instagram.com/wtlbobwhite/! Check out what we do at the WTL and our team at wildlifetoxicologylab.org/!

In the top image from left to right: Shannon and Cassie.

In the bottom image from left to right: Maya, Cassie, and Shannon.
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Fieldwork is in full swing at the Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory (WTL), and, as the days get warmer, the WTL team spots all kinds of wildlife in the Rolling Plains of West Texas. Cassie, a senior lab member of the WTL, managed to get an incredible shot of a badger roaming around our field sites in the early afternoon. Badgers are usually asleep during daylight hours and are active during the night, but this badger may have been a female looking to find food for her offspring.

Badgers are also known nest predators to Northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), along with raccoons and skunks. So bobwhite quail not only have to contend with predators invading their nests, they must also endure a variety of other environmental stressors that may not be as apparent as these mammals looking for an easy meal.

In fact, the WTL is investigating inconspicuous organisms that may harm bobwhite quail in the Rolling Plains: the eyeworm (Oxyspirura petrowi) and caecal worm (Aulonocephalus pennula) parasites. Our team spends the majority of the summer collecting data at our field sites, and then we analyze this data to see how parasitic infection may contribute to the decline of bobwhite quail populations in the Rolling Plains.

Check out what have discovered already and what we are hoping to learn about eyeworm and caecal worm parasitic infection in bobwhite quail by visiting our website wildlifetoxicologylab.org/!
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The Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory (WTL) is monitoring the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) spring migration in West Texas and we found substantial monarch activity in the Rolling Plains Ecoregion! Matt, our lead master’s student on the project, found these tiny monarch caterpillars trying to share the same milkweed plant!

We are thrilled to see so much monarch activity in our native plots, and we hope to see the same activity in our experimental plots! Matt recently planted milkweed seedlings in these experimental plots, and he visits them regularly to see if monarchs are using them.

If you want to see if Matt's experimental plots attract monarchs and keep updated with our latest research, like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/WTLbobwhite/ and follow our Instagram www.instagram.com/wtlbobwhite/?hl=en. Check out our website wildlifetoxicologylab.org/, if you want to learn more about our monarch restoration project and other research we have going on at the WTL!
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