Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus)

Date Published: April 2011

Assessment Summary

Bobwhite quails (Colinus virginianus) are small galliform birds with rounded wings and a square tail. They are native to northern and central America and can be found from southeastern Canada to central and eastern USA to eastern Mexico and Guatemala. Populations of subspecies cubanensis occur on Cuba and the Isle of Pines.

The bobwhite quail has been introduced and re-introduced successfully in parts of the USA. This species also has established introduced populations in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Andros, New Providence, Eleuthera, England, Bahamas, Portugal, Italy, Puerto Rico and New Zealand.

The natural distribution of bobwhite quail includes areas similar in climate to Tasmania. Bobwhite quail are very adaptable and there is therefore potential for this species to establish in Tasmania. If the bobwhite quail established in Tasmania it is likely to compete with the brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) and the stubble quail (Coturnix pectoralis) for food and other resources. The establishment of the bobwhite quail in Tasmania also has the potential for some impact on agricultural industries as the species is known to be capable of consuming various commodities such as cereal grains, oilseeds, legumes and fruit.

In Tasmania the bobwhite quail is currently a 'controlled animal' under the Nature Conservation Act 2002.

Assessment Documentation

  Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus)   (510Kb)
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