Oct. 11, 2023

PHOENIX — Recovery efforts for the endangered masked bobwhite quail continue in southern Arizona. Captive breeding and reintroductions have been successful in and around the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. As a result, game management units 36A, 36B and 36C have recently been occupied by the endangered masked bobwhite quail. 

As with all hunted wildlife, each hunter is legally liable and responsible for knowing their target before shooting. While Gambel’s quail and scaled quail are notably different, Mearns’ quail and masked bobwhite quail share similarities in appearance and behavior. It could be difficult to determine the difference between these two species when flushed.

While the Gambel’s, scaled and Mearns’ species are legal to take per the Arizona Hunting Regulations, the masked bobwhite quail is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. Killing a masked bobwhite quail is a violation of A.R.S 17.309.A.10 and could result in license revocation (A.R.S. 17-340), a minimum civil assessment of $8,000 (A.R.S. 17-314) and additional federal fines, fees and jail time. Know your target.

Click on the images below to open a flier that details how to identify the four quail species and a map that shows where masked bobwhites are potentially present.

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