College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

National quail conservation initiative finds new home at Clemson University


Clemson University is home to a new center for the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and will serve in a national leadership capacity co-managing the operations and enabling the implementation of the initiative.

John Morgan, NBCI Director shared, “after 28 years, the NBCI is coming back to where it started. Our partnership’s inaugural meeting was held at the Webb Wildlife Center in 1995. Clemson University’s vision for science, education and outreach coupled with an enthusiasm for growing the NBCI were a perfect fit.”

Selected by the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) and the NBCI Management Board, the center will be folded under the umbrella of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS), which has a strong focus on teaching, research and extension in wildlife and natural resource conservation. The NBCI staff will work closely with University faculty and staff to leverage the organization’s resources to enhance teaching, research and outreach programs to accomplish joint conservation goals.

“Bobwhite quail are an important indicator to the overall health of the environment, and the University’s expertise in conservation and wildlife research together with NBCI will allow us to further understand and conserve this important species,” said Keith Belli, dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. “We’re pleased to house this new center, which further enhances our mission to produce and connect science-based information to address resource needs while providing experiential and hands-on learning opportunities for our students.”

The NBCI is a 25-state wildlife agency and conservation organization partnership focusing on national leadership in private and public lands grassland habitat conservation efforts for northern bobwhite quail and other wildlife species. The mission of NBCI ties directly to Clemson’s land-grant mission, with a focus on outreach and research efforts. Specifically, NBCI’s efforts focus on habitat restoration for bobwhite quail and other wildlife while linking grassland cover to water quality, soil health, air quality, and human health and wellness through coordinated and standardized data collection and adaptive management via the NBCI’s Coordinated Implementation Program.

“I’m excited about the opportunities that NBCI brings to our students for internships across the country as well as collaborative opportunities for research and outreach with our faculty and staff,” said Greg Yarrow, Professor of Wildlife Ecology. “The synergy of NBCI and Clemson working together will have significant impacts on wildlife conservation, particularly bobwhite quail and grassland birds.”

The work of NBCI and its multi-state partnership is supported by five full-time staff members and 25 state coordinators. The work includes a national restoration plan, a GIS-based conservation planning tool, a national database, and a small team of specialists in grasslands, forestry, policy, communications and science working at regional and national levels identifying opportunities and removing barriers for conservation. Bringing the center to Clemson will allow for the addition of a network of faculty and students to expand and enhance research and outreach for conservation.

For additional information about NBCI visit

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