Ted Walski: 603-352-9669
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
December 31, 2013
Wild Turkey Winter Flock Survey Starts January 1
2013 Summer Brood Survey Results Available
CONCORD, N.H. – If you see a flock of wild turkeys in New Hampshire this winter, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department wants you to report it via the online NH Wild Turkey Winter Flock Survey. Report any turkey flocks seen from January 1 through March 31, 2014, by filling out a simple electronic survey form posted on the Fish and Game website at wildnh.com/turkeysurvey. You can also find the survey anytime during the survey period by going to the Fish and Game website wildnh.com and clicking on "Turkey Survey." Please do not report multiple sightings of the same flock.
Turkeys are easy to see during the winter because they gather in large, highly visible flocks. The winter flock survey bolsters Fish and Game’s understanding of the abundance and distribution of turkeys during New Hampshire’s challenging winter months. Participants are asked to report the number of turkeys in the flock; where they were seen; the type of habitat the birds were observed in; and what the turkeys were feeding on (acorns, beechnuts, seed at birdfeeders, corn silage, etc.).
The survey is designed to fill gaps in Fish and Game’s existing winter flock data collection efforts. “This reporting system allows the public to contribute important information to our understanding of winter turkey status in an inexpensive, efficient and, hopefully, enjoyable way,” said Ted Walski, Turkey Project Leader at Fish and Game.
Knowledge of the status of wintering turkeys is particularly important in New Hampshire, because severe winter weather and limited natural food supplies can present serious challenges for wild turkeys.
Last winter, people responding to the survey reported seeing 1,787 flocks – more than 28,389 turkeys in all! 2013 winter survey results are posted at wildnh.com/turkeysurvey/reports_pdfs/Winter_2013_Report.pdf.
Results are in from Fish and Game's 2013 Summer Brood Survey, another online reporting survey that helps monitor turkey hens and poults. The public reported a total of 1,676 turkey broods, comprised of 3,987 adult hens and 13,755 chicks and poults (young turkeys). Based on reports from August, when turkey broods are most observable, weather during the spring and early summer of 2013 likely influenced turkey nesting success. Observers reported 3.33 poults per hen in August 2013, down from 3.84 in August 2012, and 4.38 in August 2011. For a summary of 2013 NH Summer Turkey Brood Survey results, visit wildnh.com/turkeybroodsurvey/report_pdfs/2013_Brood_Survey.pdf.
New Hampshire now has an estimated 45,000 wild turkeys. Their presence here is a true wildlife restoration success story. Wild turkeys had disappeared from New Hampshire by the mid-1800s because of overhunting and habitat loss from extensive land clearing. Their successful recovery in the state began with a reintroduction of 25 turkeys by N.H. Fish and Game in 1975.
Turkey research in New Hampshire is funded by the federal Wildlife Restoration Program, supported by the purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to conserve and manage the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit wildnh.com.
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