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 . 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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