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DEC seeks landowner assistance with four-year turkey management study

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CANTON - Landowners are being encouraged to assist a new research project from the state Department of Environmental Conservation that will track wild turkey population and survival.

Starting this month, the department will launch an 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 department 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.

The department noted that wild turkey populations in the state have declined for the past 10 years. In committing to a four-year study of wild turkeys, the department is planning 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.

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 www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48756.html.

Interested landowners in Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence counties are asked to contact Region 6 project coordinator Jeff Eller at 785-2262.

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