Wildlife Habitat in Tennessee
More than 90% of the land in Tennessee is privately owned. To successfully manage our state’s wildlife resources, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) must work cooperatively with private landowners across the state. Many landowners desire property that is welcoming to wildlife species and some may need technical assistance to accomplish their goals and vision.
TWRA has Wildlife Habitat Biologists throughout the state whose primary job is to assist landowners with technical assistance and managing their property for wildlife. See below for a link to these biologists and also to articles on specific management techniques. We’d love to speak to you, visit your property and assist you in reaching your wildlife goals!
Contact a Wildlife Habitat Biologist
TWRA has partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for over a decade. This partnership has helped to establish tens of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in TN through our Wildlife Habitat Biologist and Partner’s positions. The majority of habitat programs and funding are from Farm Bill programs administered through the USDA system. To be most effective, TWRA Wildlife Habitat Biologists are housed within USDA NRCS offices.
|Chris Hunter, TWRA
1179 S. Dupree Ave
Brownsville, TN 38012
(731) 772-2965 Ext. 3017
|Clint Borum, TWRA
315 John R. Rice Blvd.
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
615) 893-9295 Ext. 111
|Michael McCord, TWRA
900 S. Walnut Ave.
Cookeville, TN 38501
(931) 528-6472 Ext. 110
|Stephen Thomas, TWRA
9737 Cogdill Rd, Suite 152C
Knoxville, TN 37932
865-671-3830 Ext. 110
|Brittney Viers-Scott, Quail Forever
630 High Street
Huntingdon, TN 38344
731-209-4153 Ext. 115
|Josh Turner, Quail Forever
1008 East End Road
Manchester, TN 37355
931-728-2472 Ext. 3
|Gordon Counts, Quail Forever
791-B Tennessee Street
Bolivar, TN 38008
731-658-3631 Ext. 3
USDA NRCS Staff: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/tn/contact/local/
TN Quail Forever Staff: https://www.quailforever.org/Habitat/findBiologist.aspx
TN Division of Forestry Staff: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/staff-directory.html
TN Division of Forestry Landowner Assistance: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/landowners.html
Wildlife Habitat Articles and Videos
Field/ Food Plot Management
Managing Old Fields
Guide to successful Food Plots
Promoting Early Successional Habitat
Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems
Management Recommendations for Native Insect Pollinators
Identification Guide to the Trees of Tennessee https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/documents/treeidguide.pdf
Glossary of Common Forestry Terms
Conducting a Simple Timber Inventory
Managing Vegetation in Hardwoods with Herbicides
Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems
Establishment and Management of Pines
Identification and Control of Non-native Invasive Forest Plants
Wetland Functions and Values
Landowner Guide to Wetland Habitat Management
Waterfowl Habitat Management Handbook
Wetland Restoration, Creation and Enhancement
Protecting Riparian Areas: Farmland Management Strategies
Habitat Corner Articles
Habitat Management Videos
The northern bobwhite quail is Tennessee’s state game bird and historically was a prominent game bird across the southeastern United States. Unfortunately, due to the large scale loss of farmland, changes in agriculture, and increases in forest land, quail habitat has been reduced or eliminated. As a result, the northern bobwhite population in the U.S. has been on a decline.
The TWRA has designated four of its wildlife management areas (WMAs) to serve as anchors within a quail focus area. The four WMAs are: Wolf River WMA (Fayette County), Bark Camp Barrens WMA (Coffee County), Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness WMA (White County), and Lick Creek Bottoms (Greene County).
The anchor areas act as reserves where wildlife management efforts are focused on maximizing ideal habitat and conditions to foster healthy quail populations. As the quail population increases, it should expand out into the surrounding focus area if suitable habitat exists. The focus area is comprised of private and other public lands that have the potential to provide suitable quail habitat.
Landowners interested in improving their lands for quail should contact their local TWRA or Quail Forever Habitat Biologist. These biologists will meet with landowners or property managers and develop a habitat management plan at no charge and provide other advice, such as programs that can provide financial assistance for creating and managing wildlife habitat.