Thursday, December 19, 2013

DEC Seeks Help With Wild Turkey Research

QF Turkey cropOver the past 10 years wild turkey populations have declined in many parts of New York State. In an effort to better understand the factors influencing population changes and how these changes affect turkey management, DEC is beginning the second year of a four-year study. This project is expected to provide wildlife managers with current estimates of harvest and survival rates for female wild turkeys, or hens, in New York and guide future management efforts.

Beginning in January, DEC will embark on a statewide effort to capture wild turkey hens and fit them with leg bands to obtain accurate data on survival and harvest. A small number of these birds will also be tagged with satellite radio-transmitters. All of the work will be done by DEC personnel on both public and private lands from January through March. The research will be concentrated in DEC Regions 3 through 9 where turkey populations are largest.

From 2006 through 2009, DEC staff worked with landowners from across the state to assess harvest and survival of male wild turkeys (gobblers). Hundreds of landowners participated in that study or provided reports of winter turkey flocks. With that project completed, DEC is once again looking for landowners interested in helping with the new study focused on hen survival.

DEC is looking for landowners in DEC Regions 3 through 9 interested in allowing birds to be trapped on their land, as well as alerting project coordinators when they see turkeys on their property on a regular basis. Once turkeys are trapped and banded, they will immediately be released at the same location. Not all locations are suitable for deploying capture equipment, so landowners should contact their regional project coordinator to discuss the suitability of their property. Observations of turkey flocks during January through March can be reported to the project coordinator for that region or can be reported using the Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey form found on DEC’s website.

For more information on this project, contact the regional project coordinator below or DEC by e-mail at fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us. “Turkey Study” should be listed as the subject line in any e-mails.

Interested landowners should contact the project coordinator for their region listed below:

Region 5: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren, Washington counties.

Melissa Neely
(518) 623 1273
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
Hudson St. Extension
Warrensburg, NY 12885

Region 6: Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, St. Lawrence counties.

Jeff Eller
(315) 785 2262
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
317 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601


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