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DEC seeks participants for 2020 summer wild turkey survey

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos on Wednesday encouraged New Yorkers to participate in the state’s annual survey for wild turkeys.

“Getting outside to hike, watch wildlife, and enjoy nature is a great outlet for our physical and mental health during these challenging times,” Seggos said. “While New Yorkers are out exploring fields and forests close to home this August, reporting turkey encounters is a beneficial way to partner with DEC in our wildlife management work to monitor the population of this popular game bird and we encourage New York’s outdoor adventurers to participate in this annual survey.”

Since 1996, DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey to track wild turkey populations and estimate the number of wild turkey poults (young of the year) per hen statewide. Weather, predation and habitat conditions during 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 August, survey participants record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel. Those interested in participating can download a form directly on DEC’s website at Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form along with instructions and the data sheet. Survey cards can be obtained by contacting regional DEC offices, calling 518-402-8883, or emailing wildlife@dec.ny.gov (type “Turkey Survey” in the subject line). Participants can also submit observations on-line. Visit the DEC website and click “Summer Wild Turkey Sighting On-line Report” or go directly to this link for the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey.

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