Vermont turkey brood survey, management again dependent on ‘citizen scientists’
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Wild turkeys are found throughout most of Vermont, but their reproductive success is monitored annually by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department with 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 asks you to go to the turkey brood survey on its website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com), where you can record where and when you observed the number of adult and young turkeys, or poults. The survey can be found under “Get Involved” and “Citizen Reporting.”
“When combined with annual harvest data, information gathered from this survey helps to establish long-term trends in Vermont’s wild turkey population,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s wild turkey biologist Chris Bernier. “It will also answer questions about the impacts of spring and winter weather on the survival of poults and adult turkeys which, especially in light of the exceedingly wet spring conditions experienced in Vermont this year, is an important consideration in the management of turkeys.
“We monitor and manage Vermont wild turkey numbers annually in order to maximize the benefits of having turkeys while minimizing the liabilities resulting from an overpopulation of the species such as increased susceptibility to diseases and damage to agricultural crops,” added Bernier. “Beyond providing Vermonters with a local source of protein and an enduring connection to their environment, turkey hunting is a mechanism for managing Vermont’s turkey population within these limits.”