FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 8, 2018
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Town’s Releases 70 Quail to Control Tick Population Along Nature Trail & Forest Property
North Hempstead, NY – For the second year in a row, the Town of North Hempstead has hatched and raised a batch of Northern Bobwhite Quail at the North Hempstead TV Studio in Westbury and released them in parks. The tick-eating quail effectively reduce the numbers of ticks naturally, without the use of pesticides. North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Council Members Lee Seeman, Peter Zuckerman, Anna Kaplan and Dina De Giorgio and Town Clerk Wayne Wink joined with Ranger Eric Powers, the host of the NHTV’s nature show “Off the Trail” today to release the home-raised quail into the Town’s Hempstead Harbor Trail and other locations. Dozens of onlookers of all ages took part in ceremony.
The quail were incubated from eggs in the Town’s TV studio at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury. After the eggs hatched in late May, the baby quail were kept at the studio for about another two weeks, then transferred to Caleb Smith State Park in Smithtown Park in Suffolk County where they spent the next six weeks maturing. There were 70 quail released today, about 30 along the Hempstead Harbor Trail at North Hempstead Beach Park and another 40 on the 200-wooded acres across from the park.
“Lyme disease is a very serious condition caused by deer ticks, which are prevalent in wooded areas and grasslands all over Long Island,” said the Supervisor. “The Town is constantly on the lookout for natural methods we can use to control disease-causing pests that do not involved using toxic chemicals. The fact that we also got to raise the quail ourselves and enjoy watching the eggs hatch, was just part of the fun. Now they will go out into the world and serve as our superheroes against ticks.”
Working closely with Biologist Eric Powers, several Town employees will be conducting an anecdotal tick study of the Hempstead Harbor Trail to determine how the presence of the quail affects the population of ticks. The study team will be periodically collecting ticks by dragging a white sheet over vegetation along the trail and then counting them to chart the effectiveness of the quails after they have been established in that area for several months.
Northern Bobwhite Quail’s populations decreased on Long Island over the years.
“The need for more data is always important,” said Mr. Powers. “So far, it’s just been me and a dozen or so schools, and several quail-care volunteers…and that’s it. That’s why I’m so excited to see Supervisor Bosworth embracing my project with The Town."
The NHTV station was not the only place incubating quail eggs. Mr. Powers also worked with dozens of schools across Long Island who set up incubators in their classrooms and raise the quail as part of their animal life cycle studies that teaches science, environmental studies and responsible stewardship. To join the spring-time Quail vs Ticks Study visit Ranger Eric’s website at: www.YC2N.com.
For more information call the Town’s 311 Call Center.
Have you tuned into North Hempstead TV lately? View all of our great programming on Channels 18 or 63 on Cablevision or Channel 46 on Verizon, or visit www.myNHTV.com or www.youtube.com/townofnorthhempstead.
From left, Council Member Lee Seeman, Town Clerk Wayne Wink, Council Member Dina DeGiorgio, Ranger Eric Powers, Council Member Anna Kaplan, Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Jayla Humprey, a camper from the “Yes We Can” Community Center and Council Member Peter Zuckerman, release the quail.
The quail move into the woods to do their work…eating ticks.