Northern bobwhite have experienced a long-term, 100-year decline throughout most of their range. New Jersey's declines have been among the most precipitous. Studies indicate that this decline is driven by low annual survival rates. The quantity and quality of habitat directly affects annual survival rates, making habitat the ultimate determinant of bobwhite population status.
The New Jersey Fish and Game Council recently endorsed a report submitted by Division of Fish and Wildlife biologists on the status of and management recommendations for northern bobwhite in New Jersey entitled, The New Jersey Northern Bobwhite Action Plan (linked below). The action plan proposes strategies and tactics designed to perpetuate northern bobwhite and their habitats in New Jersey while providing opportunity for people to enjoy and use bobwhite on a sustainable basis.
The plan outlines the following six goals and associated actions that provide a comprehensive research, monitoring and management strategy to return bobwhite to the population level of 1980.
- GOAL I: Restore the bobwhite population in the New Jersey wild bobwhite zone to the average density found in 1980.
- GOAL II: Identify and engage stakeholders in development and implementation of this action plan.
- GOAL III: Identify, connect, improve, and increase habitat areas suitable for bobwhite.
- GOAL IV: Maintain and improve population surveys and associated databases necessary to assess the population status of bobwhite.
- GOAL V: Conduct research to improve our understanding of bobwhite, their population dynamics, and their relationships with habitat, the environment, and harvest.
- GOAL VI: Provide for human use consistent with the New Jersey Northern Bobwhite Action Plan.
The New Jersey Northern Bobwhite Action Plan - Revised August, 2011 (pdf, 235kb)