A Texas A&M University-Kingsville professor was recently honored as a fellow of the American Ornithological Union for his work in research in wild quail management.
The honor came as a bit of a surprise when Dr. Lenny Brennan received it in the mail.
“I was really thrilled when I got the letter,”Brennan said, “It was out of the blue, I didn’t expect it.”
The AOU’s mission is to promote the science of ornithology, recruiting future ornithologist, and to advance “the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of bird species and their populations.”
Specifically, Brennan’s work has focused on the population and ecology of bobwhite quail and what steps could be taken to reverse their longtime decline.
His work has been especially vital to local South Texas towns whose economies rely on quail hunters who come down during the winter months.
“[Quail hunting] is huge down here”, Brennan said, “We estimated about 10 million acres of South Texas is habitat that will grow wild quail when it rains.”
Dr. Brennan has worked with Texas Parks & Wildlife to help bring the bobwhite quail population back to normal levels.
“[We’re] looking at habitat restoration, replacing coastal Bermuda grass pastures with native plants…[and] prescribing fire to a landscape to set succession back and stimulate grasses and forbs.”
Only four other people have been named an AOU fellow in the state of Texas.
Dr. Brennan has also been with an award for Individual Achievement by the National Bobwhite Technical Committee.
Dr. Brennan began his research with mountain quails in California 1984, and came to A&M Kingsville 16 years ago where he has worked ever since.
His work has been published in more than 170 scientific publications in academic journals and as a member of the animal; rangeland and wildlife sciences department has contributed Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.