Hometown biologist honored for saving quail

out benjystroupeA biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, who hails from Haywood County and has played a leading role in establishing bobwhite quail habitat in the state, has been honored for his work.

Benjy Strope of White Oak was recognized for his successes working with farmers and agricultural corporations to preserve water and land quality in the state with the Wildlife Management Excellence Award from the Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society.

He was also named the Division of Wildlife Management Biologist of the Year in 2011.

Strope has worked since 2006 establishing and managing wildlife habitat in the expansive corporate farm setting of southeastern North Carolina. The 15,980-acre project is part of North Carolina’s efforts aimed at restoring wild bobwhites, and part of a larger effort across 25 states.

Over the years, Strope secured and managed $566,000 in funding for the program and engaged agriculture corporations, primarily hog farms, to cooperate with habitat improvements such as field borders, native grasses and timber stand enhancements. Strope conducts “Wildlife & Water Quality” workshops for corporate farmers, family farmers and professionals at least yearly.

Not only does the area now have one of the highest density quail populations in the state, it also supports a variety of threatened songbirds — including loggerhead shrikes, American kestrels, northern harriers, dickcissels, yellow-breasted chats, eastern meadowlarks, eastern kingbirds, blue grosbeaks and indigo buntings.

The Naturalist's Corner

  • Fingers still crossed
    Fingers still crossed Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery, but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago — tree trimming on adjacent property — and for a day or…

Back Then with George Ellison

  • The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic
    The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic While walking stream banks or low-lying wetlands, you have perhaps had the memorable experience of flushing a woodcock — that secretive, rotund, popeyed, little bird with an exceedingly long down-pointing bill that explodes from underfoot and zigzags away on whistling wings and just barely managing…
Go to top