Abundance – Earth
California Quail, Point Reyes National Seashore, California
mixed media (alkyd oil & egg tempera) on gessoed panel, 16 x 16 inches
The word ‘abundance’ readily comes to my mind when I think of upland game birds. They provide an abundance of food and they tend to travel in social groups. There are abundant populations of introduced game birds in many habitats, brought in for sport, their populations stabile and augmented by captive breeding programs but the fate of our nineteen native resident game birds species is less certain. Almost half of our native game birds are species of conservation concern and 2 are federally endangered. This is mostly due to the alteration, loss and fragmentation of native grass- lands, grassland-shrub communities and sagebrush habitat, ranging from encroachment of invasive grass and other non-native plant species to degradation from livestock grazing. Conservation efforts to preserve habitats such as the grasslands of Point Reyes NS are crucial to the survival of our native upland game birds.