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Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants

Answer the Call

What is Answer the Call?

Answer the Call is an exciting partnership program emphasizing quail management throughout the United States. The Answer the Call partnership includes:

Focus is on increasing supplies of food, cover and water resulting in healthy quail and associated wildlife populations, increased recreational opportunities and increased cooperation. You can Answer the Call by getting involved with your local Forest Service or BLM office, or State Game and Fish Agencies. Find them through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Answer the Call News:

The Whistle Call
Volume 40 - February 2013 (675 KB pdf)

Answer the Call Success Story :: Shortleaf Symposium Paper In Press
The fire-dependent shortleaf pine-bluestem ecological community had nearly disappeared by 1970. Today we can celebrate this great restoration success story from the Ouachita. The Answer the Call initiative was a key partner in the restoration. Quail Unlimited stepped in to fund implementation, monitoring and research from beginning to end. The Answer the Call Committee toured the project area a few years ago. Committee members were so impressed with the level of community involvement, integration of multiple staff areas, and commitment of the Forest toward this project that they agreed to continue funding shortleaf pine ecosystem restoration. At Quail Unlimited National Conventions, Larry Hedrick was presented the 2005 Answer the Call Distinguished Service Award. Warren Montague, Wildlife Biologist on the Poteau Ranger District received the same award in 2001. The entire Committee commends the employees of the Quachita for their efforts, their willingness to break new ground and to truly Answer the Call! Read all about it in the “in press” symposium paper.
Shortleaf Pine-Bluestem Restoration in the Ouachita National Forest PDF 1.5 MB

Full Story in USFS “Success Stories” database.

Photograph: Redcockaded woodpecker on tree. Ouachita National Forest.
Caption: Redcockaded Woodpecker

What benefits will we see from Answer the Call?

Quail are an important part of the National Forest animal communities. Hunters and onlookers enjoy 1.7 million "user" days worth over $32 million in pursuit of quail on National Forests. Improving habitat through Answer the Call means more quail, more hunting and viewing possibilities, and healthier plant and animal communities.

Why do we need to Answer the Call?

Six species of quail are found on 15 million acres of habitat on National Forests and Grasslands. Though quail are found in 44 states, many quail populations are declining because of habitat loss. Areas that once had many quail now have few. Food, water and cover are key components of quail habitat. When these are lost, quail populations decline, and the hunter or quail enthusiast loses the chance to take part in the thrill of the covey flush or early morning covey call. The six species on National Forests and Grasslands are

  • Northern Bobwhite
  • Montezuma
  • Mountain
  • California
  • Gambel's
  • Scaled

Why is the Forest Service interested in Answer the Call?

With 15 million acres of quail habitat on National Forests and Grasslands, the Forest Service is a major manager of quail habitat in the United States. Our quail management combines with our other agency management responsibilities, including recreation, timber, water, and forage.

How does Answer the Call work?

Started in 1988, Answer the Call started as a partnership program between Quail Unlimited, the Forest Service, BLM, NFWF and other organizations benefiting quail habitat on National Forests. Quail Unlimited closed their doors in 2013. Over 100,000 acres of habitat were improved over the first four years under the auspices of Answer the Call, but more needs to be done!

  • Strengthen local involvement - linking volunteer groups with local Forest Service and BLM offices.
  • Increase the awareness of quail habitat needs - improve understanding within the Forest Service, BLM and the public.

So How Can You Help?

Join conservation organizations. You can contact your local Forest Service office to get involved and Answer the Call! Contact your local Forest Service or BLM office.

Fore more information contact:

USDA Forest Service
Brian Dykstra
Wildlife Program Leader
Southwestern Region
333 Broadway Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Quail Biology and Management:

Bobwhite Quail Biology & Management

Texas Quail Biology

Disclaimers | Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) | Privacy Notice

Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants (WFW)
Washington, D.C. Office
Author: Shelly Witt, National Continuing Education Coordinator, WFW staff
Phone: 435-881-4203
Expires: none

Photo Credits

USDA Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090
(202) 205-8333