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DO NOT FELEASE*BEF'OF THURSDAY AFTERNOON, JNURY1,~ 199 age 1 * CONSE RV AT IO N * Published Biweekly * By the * Division of Administration * IOWA STATE CONSERVATION COMMISSION * * 10th & Mulberry, Des Moines * * * QUAIL HOLDING OWN IN DAVIS COUNTY A census of 35 bob-white quail coverts in Davis County indicates a fairly heavy remaining quail population over Davis County as a whole. Maurice F. Baker of Iowa State College, working in cooperation with the Iowa Conservation Commission and the American Wildlife Feder- ation, found 420 quail in the 35 coverts censused. The object of his study was to compare numbers of quail present at the advent of cold weather, with late September and early October census figures, with a view to getting information concerning quail losses occurring during the hunting season. Mr. Baker noted a loss of 53 quail from the total of 420 in the 35 coverts. This number, consid- ered as removed by hunters, represented 12% of the pre-hunting total. NORTH AMERICAN WILDLIFE CONFERENCE Many of Iowa's leaders in conservation will attend the fourth annual North American Wildlife Conference meeting in Detroit, Michigan, the week of February 13th. Panel discussions and technical sessions running concurrently will draw the leading scientific and layman leaders in the field of conser- vation. At the technical sessions leading scientists from over the nation will present the results of their investigations to wildlife authorities and other scientists. At the panel discussions, leading wildlife authorities will pre- sent discussions of the fundamental problems affecting wildlife, after which the discussions will be thrown open to the public for further treatment. IOWA PARKS POPULAR IN 193S Iowa's state parks were popular during the past year. During the year just ended a total of 2,750,000 persons visited Iowa's 74 state parks. Figures for the first ten months of 193$ reveal a total in- crease in attendance of 14S,300 persons over the preceding year. Backbone State Park in Delaware County led all parks in attendance. This park ranked third in attendance last year. Ledges State Park in Boone County dropped from first to second place in popularity with visitors during the past year. Woodbury County's S20 acre Stone Park was popular with visitors, ranking third, while Pine Lnk#. in Frrii-n flrnntv rn1-Pii fiinT-h T.,lra
10 PLAN O OF CHUKAR PARTRIDGE The Conservation Commission again is planning the stocking of Chukar Partridge in certain areas of Iowa this year in an attempt to determine the suitability of this game bird to the conditions of food and cover present in certaln areas of the state. During the past year the Commission stocked a total of 282 of these birds in 10 counties of the state. This year 35 pairs of Chukars are being retained at the State Game Farm near Boone to be used in providing stock for planting. Plantings during the past year were confined to those counties of the state which have failed to produce shoot- able surpluses of either Pheasant or Quail. Stocking during this next year will be done with the same thought in mind. This bird, a native of India, has caught the fancy of game breeders and game commissions of many states during the past several years. The Chukar first was introduced into this country in 1928, and since that time various state game depart- ments have done experimental work with the bird in an attempt to fit it into environments which thus far have failed to sup- port adequate populations of native game birds. In size the Chukar Partridge is about a third larger than the Hungarian Partridge. It is dove gray in color, with black sides and rusty white stripes. The light gray of the head and chin is accentuated by a bright red beak and a black circular stripe running across the base of the bill through the eyes. In its native range in India the Chukar is said to thrive in barren, rocky country and has been called "the bird who lives on nothing". Experience with the bird in this country ha, ý ted the doubtfulness of this allusion to its lack of feeding habits, however. It has been noted that theChukar utilizes the same food resources as are used by members of the partridge family. Due to the present lack of sufficient data concernlnz , the bird, the Iowa Conservation Commission is not making any attempt to propagate the Chukar in very large numbers for stocking purposes in this state. Conservation officers in the Iowa counties where Chukars have been stocked are at present making monthly checks on the birds and reporting concerning %ood and cover preferences and other significant data relative to its habits. These observers have noted that the Chukar apparently does not utilize corn for food. Under Iowa conditions Chukars have indicated a tendency to stay more or less tame, roosting with chickens and even have been found on porches of houses and in yards. Investigators in Pennsylvania have noted similar characteristics in liberated birds and in addition have pointed out that the Chukar seems very suscep- tible to decimation by predators, presumably because of its