Citizen Conservationists Asked to report NH wild turkey brood sightings
CONCORD, N.H. — If you see young wild turkey broods in New Hampshire this spring and summer, the N.H. Fish and Game Department would like to hear about them. Fish and Game has created a new web-based turkey brood survey and is inviting the public to report their sightings during June, July and August, at http://www.wildnh.com/turkeybroodsurvey.
Fish and Game's success with a web-based Winter Turkey Flock Survey has prompted the new survey on turkey brood sightings, beginning on June 1. The term "brood" refers to a family group of young turkeys accompanied by a hen. New Hampshire hens generally initiate egg-laying in mid-April to early May and complete their clutch of about 12 eggs in early to mid-May. Incubation lasts for 26 days, and most nests hatch from late May to mid-June. If incubating turkey eggs are destroyed or consumed by predators, hens often lay a replacement clutch of eggs that hatch late June through late July. Reports of adult male turkeys are not being requested.
Young turkeys are extremely sensitive to cool temperatures and rain, both as a result of its impact on their health, but also because it adversely impacts insect populations that are a critical source of nutrition for young turkeys. Since spring weather is highly variable, survival of the annual hatch of wild turkeys is also highly variable. Turkey populations depend on a large annual influx of young turkeys to sustain themselves over time. Thus, the number of young turkeys that survive to be "recruited" into the fall population is of great interest to turkey managers. A large sample of turkey brood observations collected throughout the summer can provide turkey managers with insight into the size of the "graduating class" of turkeys that will become adults. This explains why turkey managers throughout the country incorporate information from brood surveys into their management programs.
Fish and Game is counting on citizen participation to get as much data as possible through this important survey. Results will be posted on our website in late fall. To report your turkey observations on our web-based turkey brood survey, go to http://www.wildnh.com/turkeybroodsurvey.
The survey will close on August 31, 2011.
Wildlife research and management in New Hampshire is funded in part by Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by your purchase of fishing tackle, firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and motorboat fuels.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.wildnh.com.