- Report habitat management in acres. This is an inventory of habitat management activity, what was done, measured in acres. Management activity includes prescribed burning, deferred grazing, prescribed grazing, disking, herbicide application, planting, cutting, grubbing, aerating, converting, etc. Because this is an inventory of activity, not what was accomplished spatially, each acre can count more than once if >1 practice was applied during the reporting year (e.g., a 100-acre field burned, sprayed and planted is reported as 300 acres although only 100 acres of habitat are being provided). The alternative, an accomplishment/acre-based inventory ('base' acres), is spatially-based, and planned for the future. However, feedback from coordinators indicates the typical approach now for capturing management is based on practices , and some coordinators might not be able to readily connect practice data and spatial data. The survey does ask for both activity- and acre-based ('base' acres) information, but this can be supplied as actual acreage, a guesstimate or 'cannot provide base acres at this time.'
- Management activity claimed must provide suitable habitat for quail during the reporting year, or is progressing toward suitability. What can be claimed as quail habitat management activity? The litmus test continues to be--can the management claimed stand up to public scrutiny, particularly from primary constituents, for example quail hunters? There is no NBCI Inventory certification program—what each coordinator claims is between them and their primary constituents. NBCI’s purpose is to show progress and to draw attention to the work being done, increasing state, regional and national support for quail conservation. NBCI Focal Areas, and other quail monitoring programs, provide the evidence-based information sometimes needed.
- The two primary Program Types are state agency based public and private land management--your agency did the work or otherwise was directly responsible for getting the work done (e.g., funding, contracting, grants, major leadership). Thereafter any other Program Type can be entered.
An NBCI Focal Area will typically be a subset of, and overlap, major Program Types (e.g., farm bill, agency public and private management), and should be entered under “Other Program Types” as described below, VI.
A Program Type can be repeated if different levels of confidence are used (e.g., see habitat excerpt for SOTB 2013), but for reporting in major SOTB Program Type graphs these are lumped within each state. These details can be reported in state graphs in conservation reports.
For each Program Type a set of questions are asked, as follows:
- Program Type name
- Public or private land
- Reporting Year dates
- Acres of management during reporting year
- Confidence in the suitability of those acres for quail
- Were any of the individual acres counted multiple times because of multiple practices during reporting year? If yes,
- I have a firm calculated measurement of actual base acres: ____ base acres
- I have a guesstimate of base acres: ____ base acres
- I do not have any indication of extent of multiple practices reporting, or the converse, base acres
- COMMENTS: description and explanations for your answers
Among PROGRAM TYPEs (Figures 1-4 in SOTB, Agency Public Land, Agency Private Land, Farm Bill, Miscellaneous—USFS, TTRS, QUWF, etc.), exact REPORTING YEAR dates can vary (fiscal year, calendar year, etc.). We are not documenting “bobwhite legacy landscapes” data (fig. 5, SOTB 2013) this year. Institute-reported habitat management is very welcome (e.g., table 1, SOTB 2013 and figure 4, SOTB 2014) and reported in a SOTB graph, and in the state’s conservation report graph (e.g., GA), if that is coordinator’s desire.
- Confidence/Uncertainty Ratings. States reporting confidence in their acres of habitat management presumably have a system for documenting habitat suitability by experienced, trained biologists (field checking and data base), dialog with quail hunters or other constituents, and often measure quail population response or hunting activity. Confidence levels include: VERY CONFIDENT, MODERATELY CONFIDENT, SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT, NEUTRAL, SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN, MODERATELY UNCERTAIN, and VERY UNCERTAIN. This is a way for coordinators to recognize potential quail habitat, with qualification. We have not reconciled different perspectives among coordinators, e.g., conservative or liberal, and confidence, about claiming bobwhite habitat.
- Within a PROGRAM TYPE, each acre can be counted multiple times if >1 practice was applied during the reporting year:
- The option to report the area only (i.e., acres of land) is asked next: "Were any of the individual acres reported multiple times because of multiple practices?" A "yes" answer leads to questions about your capacity to identify "Base Acres" (acres of land) and to enter a value. Base Acres are not reported in SOTB, but are available.
- Management activity (on a specific acre) cannot be counted in >1 PROGRAM TYPE, e.g., don't count the same acre in a FARM BILL Program Type and a Private Land Program Type, EXCEPT FOR NBCI FOCAL AREA data:
- As clarified beginning with the 2013-14 Inventory (2014 SOTB, pg. 42 and Figure 3 caption), multiple management activity by partners on any one acre can be counted >1 time per year within a Program Type (e.g., Farm Bill). For example, Missouri reported Farm Bill management acres by Quail Forever, USDA and MDC private land biologists, and the sum of those acres is reported. Per V.a., above, if you report Base Acres, report details in the COMMENTS section for each partner being reported on.
- FOCAL AREAS: to report acres of management during 2015, add “local name NBCI Focal Area” to the Other Program Types starting with question 5 (image below). These acres can be counted in other Program Types (e.g., agency public land, farm bill, etc.), but make sure to answer questions about multiple claims for these acres and base acres, and include detailed descriptions in COMMENTS. Consider Focal Area management as a subset of the major Program Types when programs overlap, answering questions about multiple claims and base acres within each major Program Type. For example, if your Focal Area has Farm Bill acres and Agency Private Land acres, provide all the details (answer questions and provide details in COMMENTS space) under those major Program Types, but only provide COMMENTS under Focal Areas; don’t repeat base acre answers/data. These Focal Area data will be added to the 2016 state of the bobwhite report as a new chart.
- Only count acres directly managed; make no assumptions about adjacent land.
- There are no minimum or maximum limits on the size or juxtaposition of acreage claimed.
- Existence of wild quail, either measured or reasonably assumed, is minimum criteria for lands claimed. Exception for areas where translocation of wild quail is occurring.
- Areas where natural phenomena occurred during reporting year (flood, wildfire, wind, etc.) should not be claimed unless man-made management occurred too.
See past SOTB habitat reports below to review founding concepts and data. Each state’s previous raw inventory data are also accessible in the SECURE data entry menu. Further background, including perspectives of quail coordinators during development of concepts, is provided in the State Coordinator Perspectives document.