ALBANY - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens recently encouraged New Yorkers to participate in surveys for wild turkeys.
"Citizen science efforts such as these provide our wildlife managers with invaluable data and give people the opportunity to partner with DEC to help monitor New York's wildlife resources," Martens said. "I encourage you to take the time to record your observations of turkeys or pheasants while exploring the outdoors or driving through the state's beautiful landscapes this summer."
Since 1996, DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey to estimate the number of wild turkey poults - young of the year - per hen statewide. Weather, predation and habitat conditions during the 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 the month of August, survey participants record the sex and age of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during a participant's normal travel. Those interested in assisting DEC with the turkey survey can download a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form from the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48732.html. Detailed instructions are available with the survey form. Survey cards can also be obtained by contacting a local regional DEC office, calling (518) 402-8886, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Type "Turkey Survey" in the subject line.
For more information on Citizen Science initiatives with DEC, see Citizen Science Initiatives at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/1155.html.