CONTACT:
      Ted Walski: 603-352-9669
      Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
      January 6, 2010

“Citizen Biologists” Asked to Report Wild Turkey Flock Sightings

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.  For the second consecutive year, citizens are being asked to report sightings of turkey flocks seen from now through March 31, 2010, by filling out a simple electronic survey form posted on the Fish and Game website at www.wildnh.com/turkeysurvey.  You can also reach the survey by going to www.wildnh.com and clicking on “2010 Winter Flock Survey.”  Please do not report multiple sightings of the same flock.

The Winter Flock Survey will bolster Fish and Game’s understanding of the abundance and distribution of turkeys during New Hampshire’s challenging winter months.  The survey asks participants to report the number of turkeys in the flock; the location where they were seen; the type of habitat the birds were observed in; and what the turkeys were feeding on, such as acorns, beechnuts, seed at birdfeeders, or corn silage.

The survey is designed to fill gaps in Fish and Game’s existing winter flock data collection efforts.  “For parts of the state, especially eastern and northern New Hampshire, we could benefit by additional sighting reports,” said Ted Walski, Turkey Project Leader at Fish and Game.  “This 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.”  Last winter, people responding to the survey reported over 1,500 flocks totaling nearly 24,000 turkeys, and encompassing all areas of the state.
 
Winter is the best time to census the birds because turkeys gather in large, highly visible 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. There are an estimated 40,000 wild turkeys in New Hampshire.  Turkeys were restored to NH by the Fish and Game Department, beginning in 1975.

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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