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Nova Silvy [00:00:00] Well, let me just put it this way, and I've said this to Mike Morrow, who's a good friend of mine. He's my former student. He did a Master's on mourning doves with me, and he did a Ph.D. with the Attwater. And I told him this, that, you know, those, the wild Attwaters couldn't make it on the refuge you have now. How do you expect pen-raised birds to make it?

Nova Silvy [00:00:23] Pen-reared quail do not make it in the wild. Others pen-reared critters usually do not make it in the wild.

Nova Silvy [00:00:27] So I thought about maybe we'd have been better off as putting more of the money into the lesser prairie chicken, where at the time, you know, we had about 3500 birds.

Nova Silvy [00:00:40] And again, you know, but I love the Attwater. Don't get me wrong, and I know Mike, spent his whole career working on the Attwater's. And, you know, you give your life working on a species and you hate to see it go extinct.

Nova Silvy [00:00:55] You know, at times I go back and forth. I love those Attwaters. But then again, you think about, well, if the wild ones couldn't make it on the property you have there, why do you expect the tamer ones to make it?

Nova Silvy [00:01:10] Unless you just keep all of this artificial: pen-reared birds brought in every year, up to three, four, five, six hundred and you're back to forty-five again every spring.

Nova Silvy [00:01:24] And you know, and all the money that goes into that captive breeding program, by the various zoos, by the manning of that refuge, you know.

Nova Silvy [00:01:33] Then you begin to think pragmatically: should that, could that money be better spent on some other species, that you still have a lot of habitat, maybe just needs to be cleaned up and made more viable for the critter you're working with?

Nova Silvy [00:01:46] So, again, you know, you're torn between these things - your love for a bird that you work with and the practicality of it.