New Mexico Featured Wildlife Project
Ecology of Montezuma Quail in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico
In 2015, the BLM's Roswell Field Office in New Mexico in conjunction with Sul Ross University began a study of the ecology and habitat response of Montezuma Quail within the Ft. Stanton National Conservation Area to mechanical thinning of Pinon/Juniper.
Thinning was completed by two different sets of contractors. One set of contractors completed phase one of the thinning during the spring and summer of 2015. The second set of contractors completed the second phase of thinning early spring of this year.
During the winter of 2015 the trapping of quail began using techniques that included funnel traps, calling with a speaker, mist nets, noose mats, thermal imaging cameras, and pointing dogs at night. Sul Ross will continue to monitor quail movements with regards to the thinning throughout the summer and into the fall. BLM will follow up with prescribed burning in late 2016 which will primarily focus on the brush piles scattered throughout the study site.