CONTACT:
Ted Walski: 603-352-9669
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
January 30, 2009

Public Encouraged to Report Sightings of Wild Turkey Flocks

CONCORD, N.H. -- If you see a flock of wild turkeys in New Hampshire this winter, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department would like to hear about it.  Report sightings of turkey flocks seen from now through the end of March 2009 by filling out a simple electronic survey form at www.wildnh.com/turkeysurvey. Please do not report multiple sightings of the same flock.

The Winter Flock Survey will bolster Fish and Game's understanding of the health and distribution of turkeys during the challenging winter months.  The survey asks participants to report the number of turkeys in the flock; location where they were seen; the type of habitat the birds were observed in; and what the turkeys were feeding on (seed at birdfeeders; silage at farms; fruits such as barberry, rosehips, sumac, apple, etc.). 

Each winter, wildlife biologists from Fish and Game's four regional offices record information about wintering turkey flocks they encounter during the course of their normal fieldwork. Members of the New Hampshire Wild Turkey Federation also provide sighting information.  However, gaps remain in Fish and Game's data collection efforts.

"For parts of the state, especially eastern and northern New Hampshire, we could benefit by additional information," said Ted Walski, Turkey Project Leader at Fish and Game.  "This new reporting system will allow the public to contribute important information to our understanding of winter turkey status in an inexpensive, efficient and, hopefully, enjoyable way." 

The Winter Turkey Flock Survey allows biologists to assess the relative abundance and status of wild turkeys in different regions of the state.  Winter is the best time to census the birds because turkeys gather in large flocks at this time of year.  Knowledge of the status of wintering turkeys is particularly important in New Hampshire, because of the challenges of severe winter weather and limited natural food supplies.

For more information on the flock survey, write to Turkey Project Leader Ted Walski at Fish and Game Region 4 Office, 15 Ash Brook Court, Keene, N.H. 03431; or call 603-352-9669.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.  Visit www.wildnh.com.

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