Wild quail, nearly vanished in N.J., mount fragile comeback

Bobwhite quail

FRANK KUMMER / PHILLY.COM – Wild northern bobwhite quail, once numerous in New Jersey, have been nearly wiped out over the decades, as their habitat was transformed into housing developments, strip shopping centers, and open farmland that made survival difficult.

Can the tiny birds make a comeback?

Last week, John Parke of NJ Audubon returned to a clearing on a cranberry farm deep in the Pinelands, attempting to see how many — if any — of 80 wild quail released shortly after a nor’easter had survived.  Transported from Georgia, the covey of quail had been released from a crate just days after 10 inches of snow fell and trees came crashing down in the wind …

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