Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Graduate Research Assistant/Master of Science in Wildlife Management/Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Precipitation and Management as Drivers of Northern Bobwhite Populations
My name is Alec Ritzell and I was raised in Katy, Texas. During my formative years, I enjoyed hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities that motivated me to pursue a career in conservation. I completed a bachelor’s of science in wildlife management at Sul Ross State University in May 2017, and I started my master’s at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in August 2017.
For my master’s research, I am investigating the relative influence of precipitation and
management on northern bobwhite density and population variability. I will be conducting
helicopter surveys in the Rio Grande Plains (December 2017 and 2018) and Rolling Plains
(January 2018 and 2019) of Texas to determine quail density on 10 study sites. These
surveys will compliment a 2014–2016 quail density dataset collected by the Caesar Kleberg
Wildlife Research Institute. I also will quantify the intensity of management on each study
area via landowner questionnaires. Properties that conduct effective management practices
as determined by literature will receive the highest point score for management intensity.
My hypothesis is that on sites with greater management intensity, bobwhite populations
will be higher and less variable from year-to-year.