July 20, 2015
Wild turkeys are found throughout most of Vermont, but their reproductive success is monitored annually by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department with a little help from "citizen scientists" who report the number and size of turkey families they see during August.
Fish & Wildlife is again asking the public for help. If you see a group of young turkeys in Vermont during August, the department wants you to go to the turkey brood survey on its website (www.vermontfishandwildlife.com) where you can record where and when you observed the number of adult and young turkeys, or poults.
"Data gathered from the survey will help establish long-term trends in Vermont's turkey population," says Vermont Fish & Wildlife's wild turkey biologist Amy Alfieri. "It will also answer questions about the impacts of spring and winter weather on the survival of poults and adult turkeys, which helps in setting turkey seasons and harvest limits."
Over-abundant turkey populations can damage crops and food stored for livestock in bunker silos.
"We monitor Vermont wild turkey numbers annually in order to maximize the benefits of having turkeys while minimizing the liabilities," says Alfieri. "Turkey hunting is a mechanism for managing Vermont's turkey population within these limits."
Nearly 5,000 wild turkeys were taken by hunters in Vermont's 2015 spring hunt. Alfieri says this is slightly less than average, likely due to the harsh winter conditions in many areas of the state in 2014.
Alfieri says this year's online turkey brood survey will be especially important in determining the overall impacts of a harsh winter followed by a wet spring on the state's turkey reproduction.
"Please help us scientifically manage the turkey population by reporting your Vermont turkey sightings during August," added Alfieri.
Media Contacts: Amy Alfieri, 802-759-2398; Scott Darling, 802-786-3862
Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: July 20, 2015 12:20:31