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DEC seeks landowner assistance with turkey study

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Landowners are being encouraged to assist a research project from the state Department of Environmental Conservation that will track wild turkey populations, according to a statement released last week.

Starting this month, the department will launch an effort to capture female wild turkeys, or hens, and fit them with leg bands to obtain accurate data on survival and harvest. A small number of these birds also will be tagged with satellite radio transmitters. All of the work will be done by DEC personnel on 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 regularly.

DEC noted wild turkey populations in the state have declined for the past 10 years. In committing to a four-year study, the department is planning to provide wildlife managers with estimates of harvest and survival rates for hens and guide future management efforts.

Observations of turkey flocks during January through March can be reported to the project coordinator for their respective 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 call Region 6 project coordinator Jeff Eller at 785-2262.

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