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Southold Town mulls using quail to fight ticks

Southold Town Hall is seen in this 2012

Southold Town Hall is seen in this 2012 file photo. Credit: Ursula Moore

Southold Town officials are weighing a new option to eradicate ticks on town preserves — quail.

Jeff Standish, the town’s public works director, told the Southold Town Board last week the town has enough pieces of town-owned property in place where they could start raising quail to feed on ticks in town preserve areas, cutting down the tick populace.

The plan is to purchase roughly 100 quail in late July or early August, raise the birds, then pick out specific town preserve areas as testing grounds for the quail project.

“As we research and come up with new options, we’ll see what works and we’ll see what doesn’t,” said Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell, who supported the plan.

The quail plan is among several efforts to eliminate the tick population on town preserves, which town officials previously have said is a health concern due to the risk of Lyme disease for years. The town also plans to distribute organic cedar-based anti-tick sprays in preserve areas sometime this month.

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