Wilderness Volunteers Help the Quail

Wilderness Volunteers (WV) is an organization that prides itself on “giving back” to public lands. They have come to BANWR five times and counting to help remove barbed wire fence and other projects.

In March 2022, the group asked Hannah Pierce for her wish list and she mentioned putting a wire mesh over five of her flight pens for the Endangered Masked Bobwhite Quails. Since these five pens only had cloth sunscreen over them, the Ravens picked at it to create openings through which they hoped they could enter and have quail for lunch. Quail interns would repair the holes as they got to entry size.

WV said this was a great project for them and they pledged to return in November 2022 to do the work. Devin Williams, maintenance lead planned the work and was ready when WV arrived November 6th. The process involved rolling out the hardware cloth over the 82’ long pens. Each new length had to be hog-ringed to it’s neighbor wire mesh. Then another crew added angled cloth mesh just below the top and side walls so that flushed birds would hit a soft, springy mesh instead of hardware cloth.

So much of the cloth mesh work was creative problem solving. How to cushion a metal post, how to cut the springy mesh to avoid waste or get the design to match in each pen. Devin told us we wouldn’t finish the project which motivated the WV crew to try to prove him wrong. They didn’t finish but they surprised Devin, Hannah and others on how much was completed by the last day.

The crew spent three out of four days working from ladders which had to be moved as they pulled the hardware cloth further into the pen and installed the hog rings just out of their reach.

There are more adult quail coming from the Arivaca breeding facility and from the breeding facility in Oklahoma. These recently completed flight pens will be their new home until they are released onto the refuge.

Thank you, Wilderness Volunteers, for your great work in making this needed improvement possible.

If you are interested in learning more about Wilderness Volunteers and their projects, check this link wildernessvolunteers.org

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