Citizen scientists help DEC gauge turkey population
ALBANY — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has encouraged New Yorkers to participate in the state’s annual survey for wild turkeys.
“For more than 20 years the public has partnered with DEC on the Summer Wild Turkey Survey — a critical citizen science effort,” Commissioner Seggos said. “The public’s observations help DEC biologists to monitor and manage this great game bird and sustain it for the future.”
Since 1996, DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey to track wild turkey populations and estimate the number of wild turkey poults (young of the year) per hen statewide. Weather, predation, and habitat conditions during breeding and brood-rearing seasons can significantly impact nest success, hen survival, and poult survival. This index allows DEC to gauge reproductive success and predict fall harvest potential.
During August, survey participants record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel. Those interested in participating can download a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form along with instructions and the data sheet from DEC's website. Survey cards can be obtained by contacting regional DEC offices, calling (518) 402-8883, or e-mailing email@example.com (type "Turkey Survey" in the subject line). Participants can also submit observations on-line. Visit the DEC website and click "Summer Wild Turkey Sighting On-line Report."
Additional information is available on the DEC website.