DEC LAUNCHING STUDY TO IMPROVE WILD TURKEY MANAGEMENT

Wild Turkey Survival Study to Begin in January; Landowners Encouraged to Participate

 

DEC is beginning a new research project on wild turkey survival to help improve the management of this popular game bird, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

“Wild turkeys are the most popular small game species in New York among hunters afield,” Commissioner Martens said.  “The data generated by this study will provide valuable information on turkey survival rates and population size to help guide future management of this important game species. I encourage landowners that have wild turkey on their property to consider participating in this study.”

Over 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 embarking on a four-year study. This project will 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 2013, DEC will launch 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 in New York 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 hundreds of landowners from across the state to assess harvest and survival of gobblers, male wild turkeys.  Many landowners actively participated in the gobbler survival project or provided reports of winter turkey flocks. With that important 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 unharmed at the same location.   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 Flock Survey form found on DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48756.html.

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:

DEC Region

Project Coordinator

Counties

3

Patricia Vissering

(845) 256‑3090

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

21 South Putt Corners Rd.

New Paltz, NY 12561

Dutchess

Orange

Putnam

Rockland

Sullivan

Ulster

Westchester

4

Karl Parker

(518) 357‑2154

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

1150 N. Westcott Rd.

Schenectady, NY 12306

Albany

Columbia

Delaware

Greene

Montgomery

Otsego

Rensselaer

Schenectady

Schoharie

5

Melissa Neely

(518) 623‑1273

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

Hudson St. Extension

Warrensburg, NY 12885

Clinton

Essex

Franklin

Fulton

Hamilton

Saratoga

Warren

Washington

6

Jeff Eller

(315) 785‑2262

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

317 Washington St.

Watertown, NY 13601

Herkimer

Jefferson

Lewis

Oneida

St. Lawrence

7

Lance Clark

(607) 753‑3095

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

1285 Fisher Ave.

Cortland, NY 13045

Broome

Cayuga

Chenango

Cortland

Madison

Onondaga

Oswego

Tioga

Tompkins

8

Scott Smith

(607) 776‑2165 (ext. 16)

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

7291 Coon Rd.

Bath, NY 14810

Chemung

Genesee

Livingston

Monroe

Ontario

Orleans

Schuyler

Seneca

Steuben

Wayne

Yates

9

Emilio Rende

(716) 372‑0645

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

182 E. Union St.

Allegany, NY 14706

Allegany

Cattaraugus

Chautauqua

Erie

Niagara

Wyoming

Central Office

Michael Schiavone

(518) 402‑8886

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife

625 Broadway, 5th Floor

Albany, NY 12233‑4754

Statewide Coordination