Wild turkey survival is focus of gobbler survey in North Country and around state
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 9:14 am

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking landowners in St. Lawrence County and around the state with wild turkey populations to participate in a wild turkey management study.

The research project will focus on wild turkey survival, according to Commissioner Joe Martens.

Over the past 10 years wild turkey populations have declined in many parts of the state.

In an effort to better understand the factors influencing population changes and how these changes affect turkey management, the DEC is embarking on a four-year study.

The study will provide wildlife managers with current estimates of harvest and survival rates for female wild turkeys in New York and guide future management efforts.

The DEC has launched 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.

“Wild turkeys are the most popular small game species in New York among hunters afield,” 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.”

The DEC is seeking landowners 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 the region or can be reported using the Winter Flock Survey form found on the DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48756.html.

For more information on this project, or to participate, contact Jeff Eller, the regional project coordinator, at 785‑2262 or the DEC at fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us. “Turkey Study” should be listed as the subject line in any e-mails.