Bobwhite Quail Return To West Virginia

Mar 4, 2020

Officials from the West Virginia’s Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that an extinct species native to West Virginia were restored.


Last week 48 bobwhite quail were reintroduced to southern West Virginia from Texas. They were released in the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan and Mingo Counties.

According to a press release, the species was wiped out during West Virginia’s harsh winters of 1977, 78 and 79. A team from the state’s Department of Natural Resources is using transmitters to monitor the quail’s survival and habitat use.

Logan Klingler, DNR wildlife manager, helps Gov. Jim Justice release the bobwhite quail into the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area.
Credit Office of Gov. Jim Justice

The plan has been in the works for a couple years at Governor Jim Justice’s urging, according to the release. 

Four years ago, a similar restoration program unfolded at the wildlife management area with the release of elk from Kentucky. The area is made up of mostly reclaimed strip mines in the state’s Southern Coalfields.

This story is part of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Southern Coalfields Reporting Project which is supported by a grant from the National Coal Heritage Area Authority.