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For Release: Monday, December 9, 2013

DEC Seeking Landowners to Assist With Wild Turkey Research

Wild Turkey Survival Study to Begin in January;

Findings Will Improve Wild Turkey Management

Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced the kickoff of the second year of a research project on wild turkey survival to help improve the management of this popular game bird.

"Wild turkeys are the most popular small game species in New York among hunters afield," Commissioner 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 this winter to consider participating in this study."

Over the past 10 years wild turkey populations have declined in many parts of New York State. In an effort to better understand the factors influencing population changes and how these changes affect turkey management, DEC is beginning the second year of a four-year study. This project will 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.

Beginning in January, DEC will embark on 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 will be done by DEC personnel on both public and private lands from January through March. The research will be concentrated in DEC Regions 3 through 9 where turkey populations are largest.

From 2006 through 2009, DEC staff worked with landowners from across the state to assess harvest and survival of male wild turkeys (gobblers). Hundreds of landowners participated in that study or provided reports of winter turkey flocks. With that important project completed, DEC is once again looking for landowners interested in helping with the new study focused on hen survival.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

DEC 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. Once turkeys are trapped and banded, they will immediately be released at the same location. Not all locations are suitable for deploying capture equipment, so landowners should contact their regional project coordinator to discuss the suitability of their property. 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 Wild Turkey Flock Survey form found on DEC's website.

For more information on this project, contact the regional project coordinator below or DEC by e-mail at wildlife@dec.ny.gov. "Turkey Study" should be listed as the subject line in any e-mails.

Interested landowners should contact the project coordinator for their region listed below:

DEC Region Project Coordinator Counties
3 Patricia Vissering
(845) 256 3090
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
21 South Putt Corners Rd.
New Paltz, NY 12561
Dutchess
Orange
Putnam
Rockland
Sullivan
Ulster
Westchester
4 Karl Parker
(518) 357 2154
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
1150 N. Westcott Rd.
Schenectady, NY 12306

Albany
Columbia
Delaware
Greene
Montgomery
Otsego
Rensselaer
Schenectady
Schoharie

5 Melissa Neely
(518) 623 1273
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
Hudson St. Extension
Warrensburg, NY 12885
Clinton
Essex
Franklin
Fulton
Hamilton
Saratoga
Warren
Washington
6 Jeff Eller
(315) 785 2262
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
317 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
Herkimer
Jefferson
Lewis
Oneida
St. Lawrence
7 Lance Clark
(607) 753 3095
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
1285 Fisher Ave.
Cortland, NY 13045
Broome
Cayuga
Chenango
Cortland
Madison
Onondaga
Oswego
Tioga
Tompkins
8 Scott Smith
(607) 776 2165 (ext. 16)
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
7291 Coon Rd.
Bath, NY 14810
Chemung
Genesee
Livingston
Monroe
Ontario
Orleans
Schuyler
Seneca
Steuben
Wayne
Yates
9 Emilio Rende
(716) 372 0645
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
182 E. Union St.
Allegany, NY 14706
Allegany
Cattaraugus
Chautauqua
Erie
Niagara
Wyoming
Central
Office
Michael Schiavone
(518) 402 8886
NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-4754
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