Research and Education are two of the primary objectives at Dixie. Research will focus on quail and other wildlife management on a working plantation. Intensive quail management is a primary goal to provide high density populations for hunting and field trials, both of which are important sources of income to help operate the property. We have initiated a project looking to better document intensive hardwood removal effects on quail demographics, also known as the “new ground effect”. To accomplish this we are radio-tracking quail year round on a centralized study area to get baseline demographic information. This will be done before, during, and after the hardwood clean-up. In addition, we are monitoring numbers of avian predators, mammalian nest predators, cotton rats, and snakes. Intensive bobwhite covey census is also being conducted. Additional projects include the impacts of growing cotton on quail populations and the interactions between radio-tagged coveys and field trial dogs.
Educational efforts include hosting groups of professionals and students as well as giving tours of the property to natural resource and other groups. Recently Tall Timbers annual Fall Field Day was held at Dixie with 275 people in attendance. The training of new biologist and land managers will also be a focus of the property. We have already had three new young people work there as research/land management techs, interns, or graduate students with plans to have more. This will provide them with invaluable practical experience and provides us with a young and energetic labor force.
Dixie Plantation Quail Management Internship
The Dixie Plantation Quail Management Internship is designed for students finishing up at 2 or 4 year programs in Wildlife Management with an interest in working on managed quail land. Dixie Plantation is a 9,125 acre working quail plantation near Monticello, FL owned and operated by Tall Timbers Research Station. The objectives at Dixie include:
- quail hunting and field trials,
- preserving the historical, cultural and natural features, and
- education and training.
The internship is a 16 week program usually from Jan-April that is designed to indoctrinate young people to Tall Timbers land ethic of Exemplary Land Stewardship. The student will be housed and employed at Dixie Plantation and exposed to a wide array of activities in a short time. The end result is expected to be placement of the intern in a position on a managed quail property. A checklist of activities/skills the intern will be exposed to includes the following:
- Tractor driving (roller chopping, mowing, fire break harrowing, planting, etc.)
- Basic power equipment operation and maintenance (chainsaw, limb pruner, lawnmower, etc.)
- Horseback hunting for wild quail
- Assisting with wild quail field trials
- Introduction to horse care and maintenance
- Prescribed burning
- Supplemental feeding including grain handling/storage
- Wildlife research (radio-tracking quail, avian census, predator index, small mammal trapping, etc.)
- Nest predator trapping
- Quail trapping for research and translocation
- Feral hog trapping
- ATV and pick-up operation and maintenance
Interested parties should have completed an A.S. or B.S. in wildlife management or be very close to doing so. A cover letter and resume can be sent to the Dixie office at 1583 Livingston Road, Greenville, FL 32331. TEL 850-997-1957. Dixie@ttrs.org