Welcome To The Troy D. Sparks Home Page






Welcome to the Troy D. Sparks homepage. I enjoy days afield with my registered Llewellin setters, and have an avid interest in law enforcement. My last researh focus centered on the efficacy of supplemental feeding on winter survival and general ecology of blue quail (also known as scaled quail or cotton top quail) (Callipepla squamata) on Ted Turner's Armendaris Ranch, NM. My field research on the Amendaris ran from 10/01 'til 8/03. Additional areas of interest include upland bird ecology (turkey, pheasant, and quail) and resource management as it pertains to endangered species via remote sensing techniques such as passive and active acoustics, radio telemetry, and satellite altimetry. Other interests include the study of large marine ecosystems, development of natural resource and environmental policies, and landscape ecology and management.

In 1995, I served as an intern in Oceans and Natural Resources for the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Additionally, I was a 1999 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow via The National Sea Grant Federal Fellows Program. I was an Executive Branch Fellow, and worked in the Office of Habitat Conservation at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS; now simply known as NOAA Fisheries), Silver Spring, MD. (M.S., in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University; B.S. with departmental honors in Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana).

  • My 2005 Resume A much shorter (to the point) version of my Curriculum Vitae (CV); or you can view My 2005 Curriculum Vitae A detailed academic resume that includes information on Education; Federal, University, and Private Work Experience; Honors and Awards; Research Experience; Publications; Professional Organizations and Extra Curricular Activities.

    To jump to the appropriate section, Use the following links:

    [Quail Management] [Knauss Fellowship Background] [CV/Resume and Research Links]


    The top picture: My FDSB Llewellin Setter, Bandit and Me on the Chaparrosa Randch, Zavala County Texas, doing some Bobwhite summer research (July '01)






  • My Llewellin Setter, Lucy, and I settled back in Rush Co., IN (Jan. '05).





    Blue quail on Armendaris Ranch, NM (Aug '01).

  • Blue (Scaled) Quails' assembly/covey call (a.k.a. 'chip-churr'):


  • Listen to Dr. Rollins' Blue Mating Call (a.k.a. the 'squawk')



  • A Guide for Aging Scaled Quail



    Scaled Quail by David Sibley


    * The following information is reprinted from
    Cornell's Great Backyard Bird Count Page
    (All rights Reserved).

    Habitat: Dry grasslands and brushy deserts.

    Population Trend: Scaled Quail are declining by 2.4% annually throughout their range, as shown by the red areas in the Breeding Bird Survey map below. Data from the BBS and CBC are closely matched for this species as well (below right).



    Texas Scaled Quail Statewide Trends



    * The following information is reprinted from
    TPWD's Texas Quail Forecast Page (All rights Reserved).
  • Data from this graph is listed in the following table.




    Quail Management in Texas





  • See the new "Team Quail" web site (click the image to the left): Contains most of the information below (as I helped to initially develop it). It is a great resource for biology, populations, plants, literature, and other quail web sites. Please, note the Texas Quail Index (TQI): a large-scale, long-term demonstration to evaluate various indices of quail abundance as predictors of quail reproduction and hunting success.

    Also, please visit TexNat for additional resources pertaining to Range/Wildlife Management, Events, Plant ID, Professional Societies, Youth Programs, an online Library, and Other Resources pertaining to GIS/Maps, agencies, managers etc...

  • Proposed State Legislative Initiative for Quail Decline in Texas via the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. This initiative will address a proactive plan to stem the rapid decline of quail in Texas and study land fragmentation to determine the impact on quail and other ecologically and economically important resources. The program will protect a revenue source to landowners and rural communities through ecotourism and real estate values. Additionally, bobwhites serve as a barometer to changes in other grassland bird populations and prove useful in adopting best management practices to protect quail and other native songbird populations and wildlife resources. (see the .pdf file for a more detailed fact sheet). Also, see Quail Decline in Texas via TEXNAT.

  • Get the proceedings from the Fifth National Quail Symposium. Corpus Christi, Texas, 23-27 January 2002. Quail Management: Issues, Concerns and Solutions for Public and Private Lands. Hosted by: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University System at Kingsville and at College Station, The Wildlife Society, Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Welder Wildlife Foundation, and Quail Unlimited, Inc. Contact Steve DeMaso, Upland Game Coordinator with TPWD, 512-389-4975

  • Try to get the proceeding from the: Bollenbach Quail Symposium, Kingfisher, Oklahoma. For farmers, ranchers, hunters, natural resource agency personnel, conservationists, students of natural resource management. Also, feel free to visit Dr. Fred Guthery's Bollenbach Chair Page. He is the Bollenbach Chair in Wildlife Ecology at Oklahoma State University, and from my understanding, plans to have annual symposia.

  • Get a copy of the Oct. '99 Texas Quail Symposium Proceedings (e.g. "Preserving Texas' Quail Heritage into the 21st Century"). It is very good and covers alot of issues ranging from Usable Space, Supplemental Feeding, Predator Control, Harvest, Farm Bill, etc... It is ~$20 with S&H. Also, see the article: Symposium Offers a Wealth of Quail Information via Texas A&M Agriculture News

  • Texas Agricultural Extension Service Quail Publications. via the Wildlife Server ....Click "Publications" and then "Quail" ...these are .pdf files so you'll need the Adobe reader installed on your computer. Wildlife also contains info. relating to wildlife programs, land maps, as well as state and national agencies ....see the "programs" and "links" sections

  • Also, please visit TexNat for additional quail .pdf resources. ....Click "Library" and then "Publications" and then "Wildlife".

  • Join the Bobwhite Brigade via the TexNat Server. The Bobwhite Brigade is a 4-day camp for high school students (incoming sophomores, juniors and seniors only) that is designed to make quail experts out of its members. via Dale Rollins, Texas Extension Wildlife Specialist.

  • Key Seed-Producing Plants for Quail Forbs and Grasses via Dale Rollins, Texas Extension Wildlife Specialist. Also, see Plant Identification via TexNat (Know Your Grasses!). USDA Plant Index A great searchable index for plant info. via NRCS. Also, see the Plants Section at Wildlife.

  • Texas Natural Resourses Information System (TNRIS). A good contact for USGS DOQQ maps, Topo maps, ESRI software, and online demonstrations. Also, see the Maps Section at Wildlife and Other Resources (see Maps, GIS, and Equipment sections) at TexNat.



  • Quail Unlimited: Quail Management, Farm Bill, and Species information see Habitat Information and Roger Well's downloadable Guide: "Habitat Management for Bobwhites: A Basic Guide for the Land Manager"....see "Habitat Information". Also, note Youth and Habitat Programs.

  • Time and Quail Wait for No Land "Texas holds the keys to the future of wild bobwhite hunting" via Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Contact Dale Rollins for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service landowner workshops that teach the basic how-to principles: "W.I.L.D. About Quail" is a series of hands-on quail management workshops with in-depth training on quail biology and management.

  • Quail Forecast via TPWD. Also, links to Quail Counts by Major Ecological Regions of Texas; Quail Abundance Survey Information; Quail Survey Route History by Year.

  • Is Quail Hunting Self-regulatory? Northern Bobwhite and Scaled Quail Abundance and Quail Hunting in Texas by Markus J. Peterson and Robert M. Perezvia, TPWD.

  • Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI) at Texas A&M University @ Kingsville -conservation and management of wildlife in south Texas and related environments. Research, and Newletters for Bobwhite Quail. Also, Fred S. Guthery's book: "Beef, Brush and Bobwhites".

  • Quail studies in Oklahoma by Steve DeMaso formerly with Upland Game, Oklahama Dept. Wildlife Conservation (now the Upland Game Coordinator with TPWD). Contains info on the Packsaddle Bobwhite studies.

  • Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Wildlife Publications (these are.pdf files) Habitat Appraisal Guide for Bobwhite Quail and Forest Stewardship Wildlife Management Notes #2: Bobwhite Quail. Also, see Bobwhite in Oklahoma: Natural History & Management

  • Quail Management by Jack A. Standford, MO Dept. of Conservation.

  • Game bird Management Topics. Mississippi State University Extension Service.

  • See Fred S. Guthery's recent book: On Bobwhites (W.L. Moody, Jr., Natural History Series, No 27) via Amazon.com. An excellent general resource and I highly recommend it!.

  • Dr. Guthery also has a new book out (more tech. minded): The Technology of Bobwhite Management: The Theory Behind the Practice via Amazon.com.

  • See John L. Roseberry, Willard D. Klimstra's book: Population Ecology of the Bobwhite via Amazon.com

  • See Val Lehman's book: Bobwhites in the Rio Grande Plain of Texas via Amazon.com; Texas A&M Press, 1978. This book is currently out of print.

  • See Fred S. Guthery's book: Beef, Brush and Bobwhites via Amazon.com. CKWRI Press. This book is currently out of print. Also see CKWRI Texas A&M University-Kingsville Publications link.

  • Also, I have a web page dedicated to the Llewellin Setter.

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    A bit more relaxed picture of me....heading in after a long topwater wade for spotted trout off Rockport, Tx (Sept. '00)







    Additional Background From My John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship


    I was awarded (Nov. 3, 1998) the The Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship via The National Sea Grant Federal Fellows Program. The program is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Sea Grant College Program Office (NSGCPO; see What is Sea Grant). It matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative branch, the executive branch, or appropriate associations/institutions located in the Washington, D.C., area for a one-year paid fellowship. The program is named after former NOAA administrator John A. Knauss.

    I was an Executive Branch Fellow, and worked in the Office of Habitat Conservation at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). I concentrated on Essential Fish Habitat issues as defined by the Sustainable Fisheries Act (1996) as amended to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. I also worked on wetlands policy issues and legislation such as the Clean Water Act (Federal Water Pollution Control Act or FWPCA). My Fellowship began February 1, 1999 and ended January 31, 2000. I have returned to Galveston, and I will fininsh my PhD with TAMU.

    There are 29 Sea Grant Universities nationwide. Each state's Sea Grant Program (see Texas Sea Grant College Program) director may nominate upto 4 candidates for the Fellowship. Selection is made competitively from the applications submitted by state Sea Grant Directors to the NSGCPO. Selection criteria include: academic ability, communications skills, diversity and appropriateness of academic background, additional qualifying experience, support of major professor, and support of Sea Grant director. Other factors such as geographical representation, disciplinary balance, and evidence of ability to work with others will also play a part. A selection team evaluates each candidate using the above criteria. This team consists of the director of the Sea Grant Federal Fellows Program, a representative from the Sea Grant directors, a representative of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and representatives from the cu! rrent class and/or past classes of Sea Grant Fellows. Typically only 10 legislative and 20 executive Fellows are chosen each year.

    NMFS is located within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce. NOAA and NMFS were created by President Nixon's Reorganization Plan No. 4 of July 9, 1970 (84 Stat. 2090). Programs now comprising NMFS had previously been located in the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries within U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Department of the Interior.

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    Hybrid Blue-Gambel's quail on Armendaris Ranch, NM (Feb '02)









    CV/Resume and Research Links


  • My 2005 Resume A much shorter (to the point) version of my Curriculum Vitae (CV); or you can view My 2005 Curriculum Vitae A detailed academic resume that includes information on Education; Federal, University, and Private Work Experience; Honors and Awards; Research Experience; Publications; Professional Organizations and Extra Curricular Activities.


  • Abstract from my Master of Science Thesis. Titled: Distributions of Sperm Whales along the Continental Slope in the Northwestern and Central Gulf of Mexico as Determined from an Acoustic Survey.

  • Acoutic Thermometry of Ocean Climate: Marine Mammal Issues. Congressional Research Service Report that I researched and wrote during my internship in Oceans and Natural Resources at the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division. Note: While my advisor's, Gene Buck, name is on the report, the first footnote explains my role. It is CRS policy that reports be published under the senior advisor's name, even though it is the intern's work. Additional CRS reports hosted by the Committee for the National Institute for the Environment. For additional information regarding ATOC see their homepage.

  • Quarterdeck article from the Dept. of Oceanography outlining some of my MSc. research and interests with the Gulfcet Program. Gulfcet II was funded by the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey (formerly National Biological Service) to determine the abundance and distributions of whales and dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Stream Rings description, illustration, and images (CZCS and AVHRR) of ring features off the NE U.S. via NASA

  • Western Gulf of Mexico Buoy Reports near-realtime via the National Data Buoy Center, NOAA (includes Texas Automated Buoy System - near-realtime via GERG, TAMU). Colorado Center for Astrodynamic Research, University of Colorado. CCAR downloads and processes Gulfcet's satellite altimetry data. Your CCAR contact is Dr. Robert Leben (satellite altimetry expert extraordinare). TAMU Weather Center Atmosheric Sciences, TAMU. Houston/Galveston PORTS Data Products (real-time tide, wind, current, and salinity data) via NOAA's Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems (PORTS) page. Galveston Area Weather/Radar/Satellite via Intellicast.com. Pelican Island Rooftop Weather Station Realtime weather via TAMUG. Latest Tropical Weather Updates via NWS, NOAA.

  • Truth Or Consequences, NM Area Weather/Radar/Satellite

  • Gulfcet I and Gulfcet II Page at the Minerals Management Service. Contains information on the 28 species of marine mammals known to occur in the Gulf, as well as information on previous knowledge, study methodology, results, and report availability. MMS was responsible for funding Part I and II (via BRD) of the Gulfcet Program.

  • For more information regarding Marine Mammals along the Texas coast, see the Marine Mammal Research Program at TAMUG and/or the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network also located at TAMUG.

  • My Marinepolicy and Environmental Management Systems page This page is designed to support graduate-level course work at Texas A&M University. These courses will be instructed by Dr. W. M. von Zharen and contain links to International Environmental Legal Regimes (Treaties), U.S. Environmental Law, and International Organization of Standards' ISO 14,000 series on the Environment.




    On-Line Conservation Groups

  • Quail Forever
  • Quail Unlimited
  • Pheasants Forever
  • PF Central Indiana Chapter
  • Ruffed Grouse Society
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • DU Texas
  • Delta Waterfowl
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • NWTF Texas State Chapter



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  • My Upland/Llewellin Pictures
  • My Waterfowling Pictures
  • My Turkey Pictures
  • My Fishing Pictures

  • My Family Pictures
  • First Baptist Church, Rushville, IN
  • My Llewellin Setter Page




    Gambel's quail on Armendaris Ranch, NM (Aug '01)

    Callipepla gambelii

  • Scaled Quail Statewide Trends






    A brief visit by a thick-billed parrot on Armendaris Ranch, NM ...a very rare sighting to NM (May '03).






    Email: sparkst@usaonline.net (preferred)

    Email: sparkst@neo.tamu.edu



    Revised: 07/10/06
    Copyright 1998-2006 Troy D. Sparks. All Rights Reserved.




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