The CHJV helped to support a Ph.D. candidate, Chris Lituma, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, whose dissertation work assessed how landcover and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) conservation practices were associated with current distribution and abundance of nine grassland bird priority species across the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region. Data were gathered primarily in counties with previously-delineated quail focus areas from 2010 – 2012; roughly 5000 points were surveyed annually using standard point count methodology and incorporating variables allowing the estimation of detection probability. Landcover variables were quantified within a 200m radius centered on each point. The project also examined the efficacy of using the methodology as a monitoring protocol for grassland birds at BCR scales. (For details, see…Lituma dissertation PDF, Lituma monitoring bobwhite PDF and Lituma roadside bias PDF.) We then used coefficients from the most supported models to build spatially-explicit regional occupancy maps for each species in ArcGIS 10.3. Mapping these models was instructive in identifying spatial patterns in predicted occupancy and abundance, helping us to identify target areas for conservation action.